Florence Eshalomi calls for shoppers to support small businesses this winter as threat of further lockdown looms

Katherine Johnston (03 October, 2020)

'As we stay closer to home, a community-wide effort is needed to give our struggling local high streets and town centres the boost they need to get through the winter'

34310Florence Eshalomi, MP for Vauxhall and Southwark and Lambeth assembly member

Southwark assembly member and MP for Vauxhall, Florence Eshalomi, has called for a ‘community-wide effort’ from residents to save our high streets in the run up to Christmas.

London has been named the worst-performing region, in terms of people returning to high-street shops, by Centre for Cities.

According to a survey conducted by Simply Business, small businesses had, on average, lost over £17,000 in only the first three months of lockdown.

The chancellor has now announced a ‘winter economy plan’ with a new job support scheme and bounce-back loan extensions, and Sadiq Khan has launched a one million fund to help the most at risk businesses. But many traders still face an uncertain future – especially in the event of further lockdowns.

Eshalomi said: “It is only right that restrictions are being tightened at a time when COVID-19 cases are beginning to rise at a concerning rate.

“At the same time, we can’t forget that this could deal another significant blow for small businesses in our borough. The impact has been huge so far. 

“As we stay closer to home, a community-wide effort is needed to give our struggling local high streets and town centres the boost they need to get through the winter.

“For those unable to get to the shops at the moment, this can also be done remotely through City Hall’s ‘Pay it Forward’ crowdfunding scheme”.

On average, small and medium sized businesses in London lost out on £17,074 in lost work, earnings, and loan repayments – £5,000 more than the national average, and nearly £2,000 more than businesses in Scotland, the next closest region; likely due to loss in footfall as workers desert central London offices.

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