Business leaders have said the lockdown extension is a “heavy blow” as lost revenue for Scottish shops this time round is set to break through the £1 billion mark.
Retail representatives said the new extension is “a further blow to non-food stores who have already borne so much during this pandemic” as restrictions were extended until at least the middle of February.
David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “It’s incredibly frustrating as retailers in Scotland have invested over £50 million thus far making stores Covid-secure for customers and staff, and SAGE’s advice has said throughout that closing non-essential shops has a minimal impact on the spread of the virus.
“Scottish stores are set to miss out on almost £950 million of lost revenues during the current lockdown period.
“The extended lockdown will serve to make it harder for some retailers to emerge from this crisis, and many others will be in serious difficulty.
“Even when we do eventually emerge from enforced hibernation the stark reality is that shops will be unable to trade at capacity due to physical distancing restrictions and caps on the number of customers in stores.
“This means that April’s abrupt ‘reverse cliff edge’ – which is set to see a 100% re-instatement of business rates – is simply not sustainable. Shopper footfall was down by a third prior to the current lockdown, and with retailers’ bills and debts mounting any return to a business rate poundage at a 21-year high is unthinkable.”
Sturgeon ‘considering all options’ as business grants could be outsourced
Liz Cameron, chief executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: “The extended lockdown restrictions will come as a heavy blow to much of Scotland’s business community who are already struggling to keep their heads above water and who now face further uncertainty over when they will be able to open their doors again.
“We cannot emphasise enough the importance of increasing the pace of distributing business support grants; this must be accelerated in order to prevent the significant collapse of businesses and jobs. We also call on the Scottish Government to use the Scottish Budget next week to outline measures to help restore much needed confidence and investment.
“We also urge the UK Government to seriously consider the clear need to extend the furlough scheme beyond April 2021 and outline further initiatives to protect business and jobs at the UK Budget in March.’’
Six by Nico home lobster brand launched
Glasgow chef Nico Simeone’s HOME-X e-commerce venture has launched a new brand and series of offerings.
It has unveiled Lobster Inc along with new themed menus from Home by Nico including Greeh Haus, Chateau-X and the Cheese Club.
Edinburgh Princes Street is included.
HSBC branch closures: Full list of branches closing
HSBC is set to close 82 branches across the UK in 2021.
Branches will start shutting their doors permanently from April 23, starting with Edinburgh’s Princes Street.
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