Harrogate business leaders warn some hospitality businesses may never reopen
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Sara Ferguson, acting chair of Harrogate Business Improvement District (BID), said it was now likely a number of businesses in the town's hospitality sector would go under this winter.
She said: “While reopening in tier 2 was predicted, it’s not what the town’s hospitality sector was hoping for.
“Pubs who don’t serve ‘substantial meals’, and I can think of a good number, can’t reopen at all, and a number of these probably never will.
"For those businesses that can reopen, I’m sure they will be questioning whether it’s economically viable for them to do so or not.
“And with West Yorkshire in tier 3, this will mean fewer visitors coming to the town from areas on our doorstep including Leeds, Wetherby and Ilkley.”
Sandra Doherty, chief executive of Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce, said the whole sector was going to suffer in a situation which had become a "balancing act between keeping safe and keeping sane."
She said: “It’s better than tier 3, but in reality the hospitality sector is still going to struggle, especially those who don’t or didn’t serve food.
“For some venues the physicality of spacing and the numbers allowed will make reopening not viable.
She added: “Households not being able to mix is becoming a real hardship for a lot of people’s mental health.
"Personally, my grandchildren, especially the little one, can’t understand why she can go to school and the swimming club, but I can’t go and see her.
“Thank goodness something is being done with the possibility of relatives and friends being allowed to see residents in care homes, even if it is in a very limited way.
"For so many the chance to see their loved ones is the thing that keeps them going during the days of semi-isolation in a care home.
She concluded: "The less contact we have with others is the thing that keeps us safe.
“Hopefully we will still see people adhering to the wearing of masks, keeping social distancing and washing hands.
"It’s a balancing act between keeping safe and keeping sane.”
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