Chamber urges public to back local businesses through lockdown

Cumbria Chamber of Commerce is urging people to shop local as far as possible during lockdown.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a national lockdown from Thursday November 5 to run until Wednesday December 2.

Non-essential shops will close as will much of the hospitality sector and close-contact services such as hairdressers.

Chamber Chief Executive Rob Johnston said: “This lockdown couldn’t come at a worse time for businesses.

“It’s the busiest time of year for many shops, pubs and restaurants. The loss of trade will be catastrophic.

“Back in September we urged the Government to take timely action to avoid a full-scale lockdown in the pre-Christmas trading period. Sadly, they didn’t listen.

“Now we’re asking the public to do their bit by supporting local businesses where they can.

“Many shops have websites where customers can order online, or by phone, for home delivery and some pubs and restaurants are offering takeaways.

“By supporting local businesses, you’re giving them the best possible chance of survival. Make no mistake, some won’t come through this. That’s the stark reality.”

The Chamber has completely overhauled its Covid toolkit for businesses to reflect the announcement on lockdown:

There is detailed information on:

  • Which businesses will have to close;
  • The extension of the Job Retention Scheme, allowing businesses to furlough staff on 80 per cent of pay;
  • Grants of up to £3,000 per month for businesses that have to close;
  • Enhanced payments to the self-employed under the Self Employment Income Support Scheme.

Rob said: “Through the British Chambers of Commerce, we’re lobbying for grants for businesses that don’t have to close but suffer a severe drop in trade because of lockdown restrictions.

“An example might be a food wholesaler that supplies the hospitality sector. They’re not required to close but all their customers have to shut so they have no orders.”

He added: “We recommend that businesses keep checking the toolkit. It’s a mine of information and we’re updating it daily.”



© Cumbria Chamber of Commerce