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East Midlands Chamber News

Chamber responds to latest development in Leicester lockdown

Commenting on the latest Government announcement regarding the local lockdown in Leicester, Scott Knowles, Chief Executive of East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire), said: “The Government has rightly identified areas of the county that have experienced a less severe outbreak and removed them from the lockdown area, and there’s no reason why this same logic can’t be applied to those wards in the city of Leicester where infection rates are also at, or below, the national average.  

“Analysis of the more granular data that has been made available has shown the city-wide lockdown to be a blunt instrument, with the actual spikes in infection only impacting a very small part of Leicester. As a result, businesses and people have been unnecessarily impacted, risking the prospect of a two-tier economic recovery that disadvantages the whole city. 

“While some non-essential retailers in Leicester will be able to welcome customers once again, many more businesses will continue to suffer for an extended period. For bars, restaurants, cafés, hairdressers and others, there remains no light at the end of the tunnel. 

“All of this underlines the need for additional financial support from the Government to those affected. This must come in the form of grants, as opposed to debt that just stores up problems for further down the line.  

“Underspend exists from the original grant money given to local authorities across the country. Leicester and Oadby & Wigston, along with any future local authorities affected, should be able to access this money to deliver hyperlocal support to businesses impacted. 

“Leicester’s people and businesses desperately require an injection of hope, and it’s down to the Government to balance public safety with the city’s economic needs.”