Trudy Harrison MP is reminding businesses of the financial support available during calls with local companies ahead of a return to local restriction tiers this week.
It comes after the Government announced that Copeland and Allerdale areas of the MP’s constituency are moving into Tier 2 after a four-week period of lockdown, starting tomorrow.
Today, the Prime Minister made a statement to the House, detailing the latest measures to help tackle Coronavirus, as well as the updated financial support available for businesses, including a one-off payment of £1,000 in December to pubs that do not serve food and extensions to the self-employed scheme until April 2021, and the Furlough Scheme until March 2021.
As part of the new measures, any business in England forced to close due to national or local restrictions can claim grants, via their local authority, of up to £3,000 per month, per business, depending on rateable value, including pubs in Tier 2, restaurants and hotels in Tier 3, and nightclubs nationwide.
Grants worth up to £2,100 a month will also be provided to local authorities specifically for hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses facing reduced demand – even if they are not required to close.
In addition, councils have been allocated an extra £1.1 billion to support businesses at particular risk. This is on top of the £3 billion of support to help local authorities assist more than 4 million households next year, and builds on the £6.7billion already provided to councils this year, taking the total support to over £10 billion.
VAT will also be cut to 5 per cent as well as waived business rates for the sector this year.
The new restrictions are due to come into force across the country tomorrow (3rd December) with many people asking how the area moved from Tier 1, into lockdown and out at Tier 2.
The ‘reality’ says Mrs Harrison is that ‘the incidence of Covid increased considerably with doubling hospital admissions figures over a week’.
She said: “Lockdown thankfully worked to bring down the numbers but the prevalence of Covid remains high and the risk of increased hospital admissions and sadly unnecessary deaths is real.
“A longer period in lockdown would have reduced the transmission rate further, potentially taking us into Tier one - but that would mean no retail open for the lead up to Christmas, no hairdressers and beauty salons open, no gyms or collective worships, all resulting in much greater economic damage.”
The five factors influencing the tiered system include the cases per 100,000 which the Government’s daily UK summary highlights is 66 in Copeland and 77 in Allerdale - both below the regional North West average and England average of 237 and 218 respectively according to the latest figures from Cumbria’s Health Protection Board.
Another factor is the number of positive cases who are aged over 60, which across Cumbria for the week ending 20th November, stands at 103, against a regional average of 201 and a national average of 173.
Perhaps most encouraging is the rate of change with Copeland seeing a -46% reduction and Allerdale, a -45% decrease. This is compared to the regional average of -31% and an England average of -21%.
Mrs Harrison, added: “There is much to be hopeful about given the rate of change over the last four weeks but we must all continue to stay alert to reduce the risk of heading into Tier three, especially after Christmas.
“I have, however, urged the Prime Minister to consider the district and borough approach, to open up areas of Cumbria which have the lowest levels of infection as soon as safely possible.”
In his statement to the Commons today, The Prime Minister, said: “This is not another lockdown, nor is this the renewal of the existing measures in England. The tiers that I am proposing would mean that from tomorrow everyone in England – including those in tier 3 – will be free to leave their homes for any reason.
“And when they do, they will find the shops open for Christmas, the hairdressers open, the nail bars open, gyms and leisure centres, swimming pools open, churches, synagogues, mosques and temples will be open for communal worship. Organised outdoor sport will resume, and in every tier you will be able to meet others in parks and in public gardens subject to the Rule of Six.
“Of course I accept that this is not a return to normality. What we cannot do is lift all of the restrictions at once, or move too quickly, in such a way that the virus would begin to spread rapidly again. That would be the surest way of endangering our NHS and forcing us into a new year lockdown, with all the costs that that would impose.”