Cllr Barr on the "new normal" for Warrington businesses

June 1, 2020 12:00 PM
By Cllr Bob Barr

Asked for comment on the situation facing the town's businesses as they begin adjusting to a "new normal", Liberal Democrat group leader Bob Barr issued the following statement:

Bob from MailerWarrington businesses have responded positively to the challenge of Covid-19. However, they have been cushioned by central government funding which is now going to be withdrawn. Business owners, particularly in the hospitality sector, are concerned about the viability of their businesses if forced to maintain social distancing.

What has emerged is a new localism, with many residents taking advantage of more local shops, carry-out services, the Market's click and collect service and farm shops delivering. It is likely that many of these changes, which have reduced car dependence, improved air quality and encouraged people to walk or cycle, will stick.

Nationally and locally it appears likely that many jobs will be lost. We hope that the government and the local authority will step in by creating 'green' jobs. Programmes such as the 1980's Youth Opportunity Scheme will probably be revisited, now that we know that a national emergency allows austere borrowing limits to be relaxed in order to keep the economy going.

Warrington is well placed to adjust to the "new normal", but only if residents and businesses embrace change.