FEARS for the city's high street businesses amid another lockdown has prompted a call to the Government for financial support.

Worcester BID has joined forced with other BID organisations across the UK in an open letter to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

They are asking the government to "save high streets from extinction" calling for financial support for businesses with another pending lockdown and restrictions likely.

The group added that Chancellor Rishi Sunak's announcement of a £1 billion support package doesn't go far enough.

Sam McCarthy of Worcester BID said: "Worcester Business Improvement District joins Croydon BID, the Association of Town and City Management, UKHospitality, Mayor of London, The BID Foundation, British BIDs, the Night Time Industries Association among others in a call for greater financial support for the hospitality, retail and leisure sectors.

"Consumer confidence has dropped significantly, and 'work from home' guidance puts many vulnerable industries under intense pressure during what should be their golden quarter.


"That's why full business rates relief, VAT relief extension, additional grants, support for freelance and self-employed workers and targeted support for cultural businesses are the foundation of a critical support package."

The letter reads: "There is clearly growing concern of a lockdown following the announcement of Plan B restrictions on 8th December 2021 which must be reviewed on 29th December 2021, two days prior to New Year’s Eve.

"Businesses need certainty with many holding on to the glimmer of hope that New Year may bring.

"The critical Christmas trading period is in tatters leaving businesses, particularly those within the hospitality, retail and leisure sector teetering on the brink of financial ruin and set to lose £4bn in sales.

"While we appreciate risks to health due to the Omicron variant, we cannot and should not forget the businesses who have had all but been shut down and want to continue trading safely."

The package set out by the government includes one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises for businesses in the affected sectors in England, which the Treasury expects will be administered by local authorities and to be available in the coming weeks.

The government also intends to use taxpayers’ cash to cover the cost of statutory sick pay for Covid-related absences for firms with fewer than 250 employees.

Are you a business owner in Worcester? How has your business been affected? Contact catherine.phillips@newsquest.co.uk.