Businesses whose futures are under threat due to lockdown restrictions have raised their concerns with North West Norfolk MP James Wild.
Mr Wild highlighted the plight of the area’s hospitality sector during a parliamentary debate in which he called for further support for the industry and a re-opening plan as the vaccine is rolled out.
He said there should be further extensions of the reduced VAT rate and the business rates holiday. Mr Wild also called for changes to restrictions on pubs to enable them to sell alcohol in closed containers as part of takeaway meals. He told ministers the hospitality sector, including eateries, accommodation sites and attractions, was vital to the area’s economy and workforce.
He said young people in particular had suffered job losses due to the pandemic.
Mr Wild said although grants had been a “lifeline”, many employers were struggling to cover national insurance costs of furloughed workers.
“It would be tragic if the benefits of the support to date are lost if firms are unable to hang on until the vaccination programme has had the impact what we all hope for,” he said, pointing out the businesses affected were “at the heart of the community”.