A REPORT to Buckinghamshire Council says that over 400 businesses in the county are at “severe risk” of insolvency because of the lockdown, and a further 4,050 at “moderate risk” of insolvency.
The report was prepared at the end of last year before the latest total lockdown took effect. It adds that over 2,000 firms have cash reserves for less than a month.
Lisa Michelson, the Bucks service director for economic growth, says that the respite between the end of the second lockdown at the end of November and the start of the third at the end of December was disappointing for many local businesses. Nearly four in ten private businesses in Bucks were reporting lower than normal turnover in mid-December.
Buckinghamshire residents were doing better on the jobs front than other areas of the country however. Ms Michelson said: “The (jobless) claimant count remains one of the lowest…and stands at 4.6 per cent compared to the national average of 6.4 per cent.” Eight per cent of the county’s workforce of over 50,000 was on furlough at the end of October. People working in aviation, hospitality, events and tourism have been the hardest hit.
The Government and the council are in constant contact with businesses to offer various forms of support, but some businesses and politicians are losing faith with the strategy.
Wycombe (and Tylers Green) MP Steve Baker, a member of a group of MPs seeking an alternative to lockdown, wrote to fellow Tory MPs last week: “If we continue with a strategy that hammers freedom, hammers the private sector, hammers small business owners and hammers the poor, inevitably the Prime Minister’s leadership will be on the table.”
- Organisers of the Chiltern Hills Vintage Vehicle Rally have cancelled this year’s event due to be held in May because Covid and the lockdown has meant a of lack of preparation time. The news follows yesterday’s announcement of the cancellation of the Glastonbury Festival.
- Buckinghamshire Council announced details of a school meal voucher scheme to help hard-up and vulnerable families over the February half-term. More than 10,000 children and young people received support over the Christmas holiday.
- The Penn and Tylers Green Together group is still operating for anyone in the community needing any assistance. There are contacts for each road in the village, but if you don’t know them or have lost the details email email@example.com or call 01494 623051.
- Figures from the Health Service Journal showed that 62 per cent of over-80s in Buckinghamshire had received their first dose of Covid vaccine by the beginning of this week. However the pace has increased this week and the council said yesterday it was on schedule to vaccinate the top four priority categories by 15 February. A new mass vaccination site in High Wycombe is expected to be announced early next month.
- Wycombe Wanderers is offering a souvenir ticket and souvenir programme for its cup match with Tottenham Hotspur on Monday to try to lessen the disappointment of fans who, of course, cannot attend in person.
Flood alert – The Environment Agency issued a flood alert last night for the River Thames between Hurley and Cookham.
Tennis lights – Hazlemere Tennis Club has applied for planning permission to instal floodlights on two of its courts at Hazlemere recreation ground.
New Tesco – Work has begun on converting the former bed store next to the Three Horseshoes pub at Hazlemere Crossroads into a Tesco Metro.
Thames rarity – Seals have been spotted at Richmond Lock, a rare sighting so far up the River Thames.