The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has urged local government leaders and ministers to act “swiftly and decisively” today to avoid the GM city region falling in to Tier 3 void on Friday without any type of financial deal in place.
The business lobbying organisation said a line now needed to be drawn under Tuesday evening’s melee of announcements, that at first appeared to suggest the GM city region would get just £22m to help local businesses ride out a bleak Tier 3 winter. This morning, however, media reported Downing Street ‘sources’ as saying the £60m initial offer and rejected by local leaders yesterday, was still on the table.
Phil Thompson (pictured below), FSB Area Lead in GM, said: “My initial shock yesterday has turned to cautious optimism, and I welcome early indications that Government and local leaders have opened a new dialogue.
“What is urgently needed now is a common sense, pragmatic approach from both sides that addresses the key issue at stake – and that’s how they are going to protect jobs, businesses, and our local economy with the best financial package possible, and with a clear timeframe for which such mechanisms will be in place.
“And we need this today, there is absolutely no wriggle room to spare with just a few days before we hit Tier 3 on Friday.
He added: “Affected businesses – and there are many – need to make some tough choices and they can’t do that unless they know what’s on the table, and by when. They needed to know what support is available to them before now.
“We need swift and decisive leadership from all parties. It’s time to crack on: no more delays, no more brinkmanship – jobs and businesses are at stake, as a city region we’ve been through enough and frankly we deserve better.”
Tier 3 – what it means for your business in Greater Manchester
Government on Tuesday confirmed Greater Manchester will enter Tier 3 from a minute past midnight this Friday, October 23.
Tier 3 indicates the Local COVID alert level is very high. This is for areas with a very high level of infections and where tighter restrictions are in place. The restrictions placed on areas with a very high level of infections can vary, and are based on discussions between central and local government. Residents should check the specific rules in their area however at a minimum this means:
- You must not socialise with anybody you do not live with or have formed a support bubble with, in any indoor setting or in any private garden or at most hospitality venues and ticketed events
- You must not socialise in a group of more than 6 in an outdoor public space such as a park or beach, the countryside, a public garden or a sports venue.
- Pubs and bars must close, they can only remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant, which means serving substantial meals, like a main lunchtime or evening meal, and they may only serve alcohol as part of such a meal.
- Schools and universities remain open
- places of worship remain open, but household mixing is not permitted
- weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of attendees; however wedding receptions are not allowed
- exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors: these will only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with or share a support bubble with: there are exceptions for supervised activities for under-18s, and disability sport.
- You should try to avoid travelling outside the very high alert level you are in or entering a high very high alert level area, other than for things like work, education or youth services, to meet caring responsibilities or if you are travelling through as part of a longer journey
- You should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if you are resident in a very high alert level area, or avoid staying overnight in a very high alert level area if you are resident elsewhere.
To read the full Gov guidance, click HERE. Further updates will be provided in due course.