On Saturday the Prime Minister moved the country into lockdown for a second time in a bid to control the spread of coronavirus. A move that will make a difficult year worse for so many of our local businesses.
Non-essential retail is being shut down, just as they were preparing for their pivotal push towards Christmas. Our joint campaign with this newspaper is aimed at encouraging our residents to do their bit to help local businesses in their hour of need.
At EHDC we will also be helping however we can.
The government has said that businesses forced to close due to coronavirus will be eligible to receive up to £3,000 a month through their local council. We will be working hard to make sure this vital lifeline, and more like it, will be made available to businesses swiftly and efficiently.
My own business will be closing down again, so I know what local businesses are going through from my own personal experience. But I know the lockdown is the right thing to do. We must protect our most vulnerable residents and we must not allow the NHS to be overwhelmed. Again, EHDC will be helping those who need support during this time. And we are in a much stronger position now than we were in March when this was new for us all.
Shielding residents, those who are clinically vulnerable, will be cared for. Food and prescriptions will once again be delivered. Mental health services will be on hand to help people who are filled with dread at the prospect of a winter lockdown. We will make sure that that no-one is left behind.
There will be pain but if we stick together, if we accept the guidelines, and follow them, we can beat the virus back. The more closely we follow the government’s guidelines the faster we can get through this phase. That’s the best way to help our local economy and to help our vulnerable residents - to take our medicine, follow the rules and suppress the spread.
· Find out about the latest support available to resident and businesses through the second lockdown from our website www.easthants.gov.uk