Almost 4,000 shops forced to close in Leicester lockdown extension

Almost 4,000 shops forced to close in Leicester lockdown extension
Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Tue 30th Jun 2020

A new outbreak of coronavirus in Leicester has led to an extension of the lockdown and the closure of 3,913 non-essential retailers.

Speaking in Parliament, health secretary Matt Hancock said the seven-day infection rate in Leicester has risen to 135 cases per 100,000 people which is "three times higher than the next highest city". In addition, between six and 10 people a day are being admitted to hospital compared to around one a day at other trusts.

As a result, the city and some surrounding areas have been returned to lockdown measures including non-essential retailers and other companies having to shut or not open as planned on 4 July. School must close on Thursday although vulnerable children and the children of key workers can still attend.

People in Leicester are being advised to stay at home if they can, to maintain two metre social distancing, ensure good hand hygiene and to strictly limit their contact with others from outside their own household. Only essential travel is recommended.

This map shows where the #Coronavirus restrictions will be in place in #Leicester and the surrounding areas.

As well as the city and suburbs all of the areas within the red line are included. #StaySafeLeicester.

— Leicester City Council (@Leicester_News) June 30, 2020

Property adviser Altus Group analysed the businesses in the Leicester lockdown area and found the following are affected:

  • 3,913 non-essential retailers

  • 239 restaurants

  • 196 hairdressers

  • 182 pubs

  • 162 schools

  • 97 cafes

  • 43 bookmakers

  • 26 hotels

  • 14 wine bars

  • 5 cinemas

  • 5 museums and galleries

One of the businesses that shut up shop this morning is 75-year-old Withers Sports. "It's heartbreaking," owner Steve Brett told the Independent. "Three months ago you go through all the emotions, the anxiety, the stresses, the concerns. You think, are you going to come through this? And now we're back to this.

"It's horrendous. We're online as well so it's not been too bad. But I feel for the restaurants, cafes, pubs."

Many founders have called for extra support to help them cope with the impact of a longer lockdown.

Scott Knowles, chief executive of East Midlands Chamber, said: "Businesses now need additional support above and beyond what has already been made available to avoid the emergence of a two-tier recovery which leaves Leicester - and any other areas where similar restrictions might be applied in future - lagging.

"This support must be immediate, targeted and delivered in the form of grants so as not to add to already burgeoning debt levels. Where businesses have incurred cost in readying themselves for reopening, they should be compensated."

The government said businesses in Leicester that used the Job Retention Scheme between 1 March and 30 June to furlough staff and claim a grant to cover 80% of wages can do so again from 1 July.

If you're running a business in Leicester affected by the lockdown but are still trading online, as a takeaway or in another way, email Dan or tweet at @e_nation and we'll give you some promotion.

With my shop having to close I am opening up all my DM's on all social media channels to help anybody get int touch who may be looking for design or printing services!
Anybody looking for logo designs or anything else creative please get in touch 😘 #leicesterlockdown

— James West (@west3james16) June 30, 2020

Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance content creator and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I have 18 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from billionaires like Sir Richard Branson to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community and have strong connections to major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 50 events; from intimate meet-ups to conferences with an audience of hundreds including events for international brands like Facebook and Xero. I'm also a big fan of podcasts having hosted Enterprise Nation's Small Business Sessions as well as lots of online events including Facebook Live interviews, webinars and three live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography. I'm here to help. I'm volunteering free advice calls of up to an hour as part of the Recovery Advice for Business scheme, over the next 6 months. Please get in touch to see how I can help your business. 

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