June 15, 2021 12.16 pm This story is over 13 months old

Lincolnshire businesses “let down” as lockdown lingers without aid

Measures already in place will continue

Businesses in Lincolnshire will be disappointed by further delays to the COVID-19 lockdown roadmap and a lack of extra funding, leaders have said.

Katrina Pierce, Development Manager for the Federation of Small Businesses  in Lincolnshire, said the news was “expected” due to the recent data.

However, she added: “[Business owners] will feel extremely let down that there is to be no further financial aid to come for hard hit businesses, ones that now have to either delay reopening again or continue limited trading, often at a loss.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, announcing the delays on Monday night, told ITV journalists that the measures currently in place – such as business rate relief – will last until September but did not announce any further support.

He said there wasn’t a reversal of the relaxations which “means that the businesses that are currently open and trading can continue to do that.”

Mr Johnson has been backed by local health bosses, who said the decision was the right one.

Katrina said the lack of extra funding was “a missed opportunity to support thousands of businesses and jobs that have already suffered over five consecutive quarters, often with no revenue at all”.

“To see them told to remain closed or carry on operating in a limited way with no strengthened safety net at this critical late stage is beyond disappointing – they will feel crushed.”

Katrina Pierce, development manager for the Federation of Small Businesses in Lincolnshire. | Photo: Supplied

Councillor Martin Hill, Leader of Lincolnshire County Council also said it was “disappointing” news for businesses, particularly in the hospitality sector “bearing in mind hospitalisations are very low and the vast majority of the vulnerable are now protected”.

He said that was “no comfort to the businesses who’ve had to suffer from lockdown over the past year but who were beginning to get more people through their doors through the recent period of good weather as people quite rightly look forward to lockdown restrictions ending”.

“The hospitality sector in particular need to trade freely and see more footfall without customers being restricted.

“We moved to help businesses cope with lockdown through our community grant scheme earlier this year which had a great response.

“People have had to endure so much they want to see a return to normality as soon as possible.”

Cllr Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council. | Photo: Daniel Jaines

He added he was pleased that at least weddings could go ahead with more than 30 people after June 21.

Reacting to the news last night, Lincoln venue The Engine Shed, said it was considering all of its planned events.

Group Chief Executive James Brooks said: “This year has been a rollercoaster for everyone at the Engine Shed, as we have waited on each Government update to be announced.

“Not being able to open as expected on June 21 is a real disappointment for everyone, but it’s made us more motivated than ever to welcome customers back to bigger and better events than ever before, when we can do so safely.”

He said ticket-holders would be contacted via email over the coming weeks with any changes to their events.