The Last Hurdle
w/c 4th January 2021
With Southend attracting in circa seven million visitors every year, our town is heavily dependent upon visitors for its economic prosperity and this past year has been disastrous - businesses were closed and nobody could visit. The new national restrictions for England announced this week will hopefully get a swifter handle on the spread of the virus across the country to ensure that Easter and the start of the season are much more positive than that of 2020.
The new restrictions were not a dramatic change for us as we were already living a Tier Four ‘Stay At Home’ life but for those with children or in higher education it means that there will not be a return to those settings until at least after February half term. The continued mandatory closures of most firms is understandably leaving owners and workers frustrated and feeling desperate but as up to 1 in 3 people are symptomless and could be unknowingly spreading the virus, without these measures we could just be prolonging the 2020 nightmare further.
More Government grants have been announced for businesses to bring in some income throughout these closures. Retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will be receiving one off grants of up to £9,000 to help them through to Spring and more grants will be made available for other businesses to provide support. You can find more details on applying for grants on the Southend-on-Sea Borough Council website or you can find information on a range of Government support measures on our Southend BID website.
Please stay home, stay safe and protect the overwhelmed NHS. The vaccine is being rolled out and a sense of normality is within reaching distance for us all. The virus will not make allowances for anyone so let’s protect each other at this last hurdle to ensure we lose no more loved ones and can make Spring a new beginning for the businesses and the people of our town.