Labour analysis of Office for National Statistics figures has highlighted that Bath and North East Somerset is in the top 10 places most at risk in the country of seeing their high streets “hollowed out” due to the impact of Covid on hospitality, tourism, non-essential retail and leisure businesses.
11.7% of all businesses across England are in these sectors. But locally there is a significantly higher proportion of the businesses: 15.7%
Commenting on the analysis of the figures from the independent statistics authority, Shadow Business Secretary Ed Miliband stressed that while the pandemic is a national crisis “the impact will be felt much more deeply by communities in certain parts of the country”.
Metro Mayor candidate Dan Norris has called on the government to urgently confirm it will extend business rates relief to give struggling businesses the breathing room they need. He has also criticised the current Metro Mayor for the “slow and cumbersome” roll out of his high street fund.
Mr Miliband said: “The government must stand up for local high streets and abandon the sink or swim approach. Standing by and letting these businesses collapse with the vaccine rollout making huge progress and recovery in sight would be absolutely devastating for business owners and employees who have done the right thing by shutting to help tackle the virus.”