Council leader pushes government to back Bolton businesses

The Leader of Bolton Council has issued a statement of support to local businesses who have had to close due to the coronavirus restrictions.

Strict new measures were introduced borough-wide by the government on September 8 due to the number of COVID-19 cases continuing to rise.

Since then, hospitality venues have been restricted to takeaway only and those offering takeaway services must close from 10pm to 5am.

The treasury announced on September 9 that businesses which have had to close will be able to claim £1,500 grant every three weeks and smaller firms can claim £1,000.

The local authority will share information on the new grants and application process once the government confirms details.

Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr David Greenhalgh, said: “I know how difficult it is for our businesses within the hospitality sector, particularly those who played by the rules and found innovative ways to welcome their customers back to a safe environment and who have now found themselves having to close their doors.

“I want to personally reassure the hospitality sector that we are doing everything we can to get you the financial support and help promised as soon as we can, and we are lobbying for additional help.

“In both local and national media, I have called on government to return to the original furlough arrangements.

“We are waiting for details from government on the new grants scheme and when we get this information, we will be communicating it to all our businesses.

“We witnessed the most extreme spike in positive cases witnessed anywhere in the country since the pandemic began, and we have still the most positive cases in the country, but there are some early signs that the rate of increase is declining.

“I urge everyone to follow the guidance and then we will see our rates come down; and only then can we can press government to reopen our hospitality businesses and allow us to get our economy back up and running and us all back to the normality we all crave for.

“Our rules are reviewed regularly by government - we hope that restrictions will be eased when things start to move in the right direction.”

Businesses are advised to follow @BoltonCouncil and @BusinessBolton on social media, and check for the latest information.

Published: 21st September 2020