City leaders come together to help York businesses through coronavirus crisis

Photograph: Matthew King

The council, York BID and Make It York are working together to help businesses in the city.

At a meeting today (Monday) Cllr Andrew Waller, executive member for economy, asked council bosses about work taking place to help businesses.

He said: “The coronavirus is having a serious impact on the economy of the city. I have had communications from a number of businesses.”

Simon Brereton, head of economic growth at the council, said he has been working with organisations York BID and Make It York.

He added that the government recently announced support and: “Our colleagues in the rates department are working to make sure everyone gets what they are entitled to as soon as possible.”

Defending traders

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Waller added: “Clearly it’s a fast changing situation. Our objective is to work with companies in York to ensure that they are defended against the reduction in business and customers.

“I came into the city during the week and it was very quiet. It was relatively flourishing at the weekend, which was a positive sign. But it is a constantly evolving situation and we are awaiting the comments from government.”

Cllr Waller added:

  • There was a specific element of funding through the government’s most recent budget.

    We are looking at how we can most quickly get that message through to businesses very clearly so that they can plan ahead at these very difficult times.

    Some individual companies have been in touch with me, explaining their concerns going forward for a city like York which is so dependent on tourism, retail and visitor economy.

He has also been in touch with the retail forum and through the Leeds City Region LEP and the North Yorkshire East Riding LEP “to ensure that the support that’s coming from government actually achieves the objective, which is to retain the employment”.

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