How Covid-19 is affecting North East independent businesses

#The CoronaDiaries


Image: Ttonic bar and kitchen, Sunderland


THE Prime Minister announced that non-essential businesses and venues were not allowed to open for trade from March 23 2020, due to the outbreak of Covid-19. 

This included eating and drinking establishments, assembly and leisure, retail, hotel and non-residential institutions, unless there is a notable exception. 

Charlie Ezra Palmer, general manager of Sunderland bar and kitchen TTonic, said: “Our main priority is the safety and wellbeing of our staff. Having to close our venue at the time Boris Johnson made his announcement that the hospitality sector would be closing, our first step was to look at how we would be able to keep our staff and ensure they continue being paid over this period of closure.

“Once we were sure we would be able to pay our staff and the venue had been locked down fully, we began communicating with breweries in regard to how they could support us with things such as changing out expired stock.

“When we are given the green light to re-open, we will return stronger than ever. We have a lot planned and during this closure we have the time to execute it to the highest standard.”

The government has pledged that retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in England will be supported throughout this time by offering cash grants, as part of what it described as “a comprehensive series of measures supporting wages, cash-flow and the welfare system”. 

Kay Wilson, of the North East England Chamber of Commerce, said: “All businesses in the region, whether retail, manufacturing or other sectors, are facing huge challenges with the impact of coronavirus. 

“The Government has announced measures to support them in this time of need, but we need the funding that has been promised to be delivered as quickly as possible.”




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