Lockdown latest: Harrogate independents such as Baltzersens determined to battle through new restrictions
One of Harrogate's leading independent cafes, Baltzersen’s, famed for its own-baked pasties, Scandi-themed food dishes and enlightened approach, is hoping it can still "muddle through" until the vaccination rollout eases the crisis over the pandemic.
Owner Paul Rawlinson said: "Before today, Rishi Sunak seemed to have dropped off the face of the earth since the summer. There had been a glaring lack of additional support forthcoming for businesses.
"The grant payments have been barely enough to cover rent (not even close for larger venues) so the prospect of perhaps three months under these measures makes the landscape look very bleak for business.
"Hopefully we will be given enough help to muddle through."
Mr Rawlinson said he would be keeping his group of small businesses going for takeaway despite the tough new regime of rules the Government has warned may last until March at least.
This includes Baltzersen’s Café and Coffee Shop on Oxford Street, as well as its bakery shop Bakeri Baltzersen just along the same street and its Knaresborough outlet on the Market Place.
The successful indie has even overcome a Covid battle of its own to be able to reopen.
Mr Rawlinson said: "The bakery shops were closed because we had two positive Covid tests on Christmas Eve, both shops and the bakery itself are back open as normal from today, Tuesday.
"The cafe will be open today for takeaway/click and collect and food for delivery, we’ll see how that goes this week and work out if that makes sense for us to continue.
Today's new support package for the hospitality sector is worth £4.6bn in total.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the new one-off cash grants worth up to £9,000 per property for mainly pubs, cafes and shops would help them stay afloat until spring.
The help is in addition to business rates relief and the furlough scheme which has been extended until the end of April.
Mr Sunak said that, separately, £594m would also be made available to affected firms outside these sectors.
But the new measures announced by the Chancellor have already been condemned as inadequate by the British Chambers of Commerce.
BCC's director general, Adam Marshall said: "While this immediate cash flow support for business is welcome, it is not going to be enough to save many firms.
"We need to see a clear support package for the whole of 2021, not just another incremental intervention.
"The Government must move away from this drip-feed approach and set out a long-term plan that allows all businesses of all shapes and sizes to plan, and ultimately survive.
“Many smaller firms won’t qualify for the full headline amounts set out in the Chancellor’s statement, and will be left struggling to see how this new top-up grant will help them out of their cashflow problems.
"Support must be sufficient to cover not just those on the front line of retail, hospitality and leisure, but also firms in supply chains and wider business communities who are also feeling the devastating impacts of these restrictions.”
A message from the Editor
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.
Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.