COLUMN: ‘It is great to see our local businesses reopening safely after lockdown’
- Credit: Archant
It is great to see our local businesses reopening after lockdown.
Shopping in Ely last weekend, chatting to owners of many independent stores, it was good to see how they have made their shops safe for customers to return with screens, one way systems and hand sanitisers.
I met with the owners of Cloisters Antiques, The Eel Catcher’s Daughter and the City Cycle Centre who were all delighted to be welcoming back their regular customers.
Many businesses and entrepreneurs that I have spoken to have benefitted from the Government’s financial measures, ensuring that they are able to continue to employ staff and keep their doors open to customers.
Having spent the last few months tackling coronavirus the Government is now focussing efforts on maintaining jobs and strengthening the economy as we come out of lockdown.
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The chancellor recently set out a number of measures to keep people in work and support the hardest hit.
These include a 15 per cent VAT cut for many tourism and hospitality businesses - up to 655 businesses could benefit from this in our area.
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There are also measure to get the young into work including a new £2 billion kickstart scheme to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs for young people.
The chancellor also announced a total of £1.6 billion will be invested in employment support schemes, training and apprenticeships to help people looking for a job. This scheme includes £2,000 for businesses who hire a new apprentice under 25.
We have all seen the impact of lockdown on the environment - with less pollution, limited traffic and better air.
The Green Homes Grant scheme announced by the Government will help constituents upgrade the energy performance of their homes up to a maximum of £5,000.
Low-income households will be eligible for up to 100 per cent of government funding for up to £10,000.
I hope you will be joining me in taking the benefit of the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme. From Monday to Wednesday during August, anyone who eats at a participating restaurant, café or pub can receive 50 per cent off food and non-alcoholic drinks up to a value of £10 per person.
I hope that this will encourage many of us back to support the over 240 wonderful restaurants, cafes and pubs across South East Cambridgeshire.
After a long period of lockdown, it is great to see our areas opening up again, in this next phase.
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