Many firms in Nidderdale ‘will not survive’ four-week lockdown delay

Businesses in Pateley Bridge have been left fearful and disappointed after the final step of the roadmap out of lockdown was delayed by four weeks.

Thursday, 17th June 2021, 12:16 pm

Tim Ledbetter, chairman of Nidderdale Chamber of Trade, said many firms could go under because of the Government’s announcement on Monday.

He said: “It is going to have a big impact. The whole thing about the final easing of restrictions is that it would mean more normality. This will hit hospitality the hardest. There has been some relaxing of the rules around weddings but if you run a big hotel or catering business then it is a disaster.

“Nobody can be spontaneous under these restrictions, so we are finding lots of people aren’t coming out at all because they don’t have the confidence, that certainty, that they can do what they want to do. 
“I don’t see how the government can reasonably justify carrying on with these restrictions, and a lot of people are starting to question the decisions being made. The Government is looking at the figures and making them sound more dramatic.

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“I am pretty sure there are businesses in Nidderdale that are not going to survive because of these extra four weeks. Already people have been talking to me about what they are going to do, and they are actively discussing calling it a day.

“And the full impact hasn’t even bitten yet. Things are going to get extremely difficult for local businesses. Furlough is coming to an end and that will cause a massive problem.”

Mr Ledbetter also said he was fearful that the restrictions won’t end next month, despite the Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying on Monday that he was ‘confident’ the lockdown would end fully on July 19.

Mr Ledbetter added: “They are confident that July 19 will be the final date, but the Government was also confident we could have Christmas, then said if we gave up Christmas we could have Easter, and we didn’t get either of them. This all started with ‘three weeks to save the NHS’ and that was in March 2020. Once the end of July comes round, Parliament will be in recess and then the restrictions will go on until September. That, of course, takes us past the summer holidays, which will be a major blow.

Pateley Bridge and Nidderdale firms and our hospitality trade have has already missed out Christmas, then Easter and we were relying on summer but that is now going to be very restricted too. Lots and lots of businesses are just not economically viable in the present situation.”