Responding to the Chancellor’s announcement of new lockdown grants, Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce managing director Martin Hathaway said:

“The Chancellor’s announcement that businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are to receive a one-off grant worth up to £9,000, will come as a welcome relief to those operating in these sectors but the Government needs to understand that the cash going to those businesses forced to close is not enough to cover their fixed costs.

“And while the additional £594 million discretionary funding made available today to support other impacted businesses is a step in the right direction, it is again, not enough. We need to recognise that all businesses across Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield have been operating under some of the tightest restrictions for the past 10 months already and are suffering as a result. Cash reserves are not going to be sufficient for many businesses in 2021.

“Further short term cash injections are needed, but more importantly, the Government needs to set out a clear support package for the whole of 2021 – not just until Spring – to help businesses of all shapes and sizes survive this difficult and uncertain year. Otherwise many of these firms may simply not be there to drive our recovery when we emerge.”