The government’s announcement on the move to Plan B with the advice to ‘work from home if you can’ has come as a real blow to sectors such as hospitality, leisure and retail, as 95% of Fitzrovia’s visitors are daily commuters. The timing couldn’t be worse, at the busiest time of the year for retail and hospitality. In immediate response to this, on behalf of businesses The Fitzrovia Partnership is making representation to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and to other cabinet members asking for immediate financial support for businesses in the aforementioned sectors. Please see copies of the letters below.
We noted to the Chancellor that central London’s hospitality, retail and leisure businesses struggled disproportionally to the rest of England during the pandemic and yesterday’s measure to ‘work from home where possible’ will have a catastrophic impact on Fitzrovia where 95% of our community is business, with workers travelling into the area. Less than 24 hours after the government announcement, businesses are already reporting a 20% cancellation of confirmed bookings for Christmas parties, as workers stay at home – as directed. Hotel reservations are as low as 40% of what could normally be expected at this time, without the impact of yesterday’s measures. He must financially support businesses in these sectors as it is anticipated that the economic impact on the UK’s hospitality will reach a 40% loss over the Christmas period i.e. £4bn losses of the overall Christmas £10bn trade.
We have co-signed open letters with Camden Council, London First and other London organisations, to The Prime Minister, The Treasury and BEIS to call on the government to offer further financial support to businesses suffering as a result of new Covid messaging and the plan B measures.
Please see examples of letters that have been signed; some wording may be amended in the final copies that get sent.