A STARK warning has been issued about the financial effect of Eastbourne being in Tier 2.

Our MP Carolne Ansell voted for this but the business community is very unhappy.

Christina Ewbank has written to the government on behalf of The Alliance of Chambers in East Sussex.

She writes: “The impact on our local economy )of going into Tier 2) is likely to be irreversible. 

“Businesses are liable to go under in the coming weeks due to the loss of Christmas trade which traditionally supports them through the winter. 

“These businesses were thriving, successful businesses prior to the virus but have become ‘zombie businesses’ due to the unpaid debts that have not gone away coupled with their lack of income. 

“The financial cupboard is bare and so we would ask that these businesses are not forced to close again.  Short term, unpredictable opening hours are just not a workable business environment for most SMEs.

“Lockdown 3 may not be far away and so we ask that you change the rules of the game so that our characterful, independent shops can remain open and are not lost forever.

“We note that you have allowed people to meet in private homes to celebrate Christmas, which we welcome, however there are virtually no infection protocols in private residencies while pubs have well developed protection systems and yet our residents cannot meet for a drink in these well controlled environments.  Again, please bear this in mind when considering another lockdown.”

ACES wants to see:

  • Permanent retention of the 5% VAT rate for hospitality.
  • Extension of the rates holiday for a further year for all retail and hospitality businesses.
  • Removal of rates for all physical retailers so they can compete with online distributors.
  • 100% use of masks in public, education and workplaces with no exceptions. 
  • The reintroduction of restrictions in all supermarkets including one-way systems and restricted numbers.
  • The cleaning of baskets and trolleys by staff in supermarkets.
  • The regular cleaning of payment touch screens throughout the day.
  • The regular cleaning of petrol pumps nozzles and buttons throughout the day.
  • Track and Trace QR usage in every public building, filling station, shop, restaurant and pub without exception.  (This should include all the individual shops in shopping centres.)
  • Mass testing and priority vaccinations for all citizens with underlying health issues and/or those over the age of 60.