Manchester cafe owner desperate for "clarity for businesses not north-south divide"

20 October 2020, 19:20

By Fiona Jones

This Mancunian cafe owner told LBC he wants clarity over the help people and businesses will receive in the north as opposed to a "political back and forth" and a "north-south divide."

Greater Manchester will move into Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions from midnight on Thursday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced.

The Government has finally imposed the most stringent lockdown measures on the region following days of stalemate between Westminster and regional leaders, who have been calling for financial support for local businesses and workers.

Owner of Grindsmith Coffee Shop Pete Gibson told LBC that his overwhelming emotion over the announcement was confusion: "We've been promised one thing...then new information today, there's the deadline, and we're potentially coming out with nothing."

Pete said that thankfully throughout restrictions business has been "okay" however after this new announcement, "we're just really concerned to see what the next phase of restrictions will actually do to people being happy to come out."

"The furlough scheme in its original form saved my employees from losing their jobs...we did use grants as well. In terms of what we need, we need clarity, we need to stop around this political back and forth, north and south, it seems to be dividing everyone.

"What should be clear and concise is actions that businesses like myself should be taking."

He told Eddie that initially his staff had "huge concern" about coming in to work for safety reasons and now they are concerned for their jobs altogether.

"We've gone through what was remarked as the first phase and we got out the other side. I think people saw that as a light at the end of the tunnel, and now we've plunged back in to what does next week hold."