Following the government’s implementation of Plan B, Bournemouth Coastal BID has fired off a letter to local MPs urging them to lobby the government to provide more help for the hospitality sector.
Coastal BID chairman Paul Clarke, who is also a hotelier, says that the industry is seeing Christmas and New Year bookings being cancelled due to the new Covid measures.
And despite not being as restrictive as last year’s, the restrictions are already having a dramatic effect on business.
The letter, which has been sent to Bournemouth MPs Conor Burns and Tobias Ellwood, says businesses need support in order to survive.
Paul Clarke said: “Our area runs from Hengistbury Head through to Westbourne and consists of many hotels, restaurants, bars, pubs and entertainment venues.
“As soon as the new restrictions were announced people began cancelling bookings.
“This Christmas was earmarked by the sector as a time to try and raise enough money to sustain businesses through the tough winter months ahead.
“But that is now looking less likely because of all the cancellations. Businesses could close for good.
“Practical support is required in the form of full business rates relief, grants, rent protection and, in particular, extended VAT reductions.
“The end of the VAT reduction scheduled for 1 April next year means the extra cost will be passed onto customers, thereby helping to drive up inflation.
“Hospitality is huge in our area and it brings in countless visitors who spend money across the conurbation.
“If hospitality businesses go under it will have a devastating knock-on effect on other sectors.
“We’re urging our MPs to take our message to the heart of government so the help that is required, is provided.”
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