Hospitality sector left behind in Tier 3

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On Wednesday 2nd December, Birmingham will enter Tier 3 restrictions as the government reverts to its tiered approach for tackling the ongoing pandemic. 

Birmingham was placed in Tier 2 before the national lockdown, and even though cases have decreased over the last 4 weeks, the government have made the decision to move the city into its highest tier to combat the spread of the virus.

Saint Kitchen restrictions
Saint Kitchen, a coffee shop in St Paul’s Square, is COVID-19 secure yet will remain empty in Tier 3 restrictions

Tier 3 restrictions will allow shops to reopen which will be welcomed by the many jewellers and independent retailers from across the Jewellery Quarter, especially in the lead up to the Christmas period. However, businesses in the hospitality sector have been told that their bars, cafes and restaurants must remain closed unless offering takeaway or delivery services.

Luke Crane, Executive Director of the Jewellery Quarter Development Trust, believes that the Tier 3 restrictions will have an adverse effect on the Jewellery Quarter.

We are extremely disappointed that Birmingham has been placed in Tier 3 with the further impact this now has on our hospitality sector. The Jewellery Quarter is well known across the West Midlands for its hospitality businesses and without serious support from Government, I am deeply concerned about the sector’s future and the impact this will have on the Jewellery Quarter’s offer.

With many other businesses able to safely reopen once the national lockdown ends, the hospitality sector will remain closed. This comes after bars, restaurants and cafes have spent thousands of pounds in installing new safety measures and rearranging their venues to adhere to social distancing rules. Luke continues:

Statistics have constantly supported the fact that the measures that hospitality venues undertook during the first lockdown worked. It’s about time that the sector gets the respect it deserves and receives the urgent financial support it needs to survive.

Founder of the award-winning Lasan Group, Jabbar Khan, expressed his deep disappointment in the news.

As an independent restauranteur, with four businesses across the city we’re incredibly disappointed in the Government’s announcement to place Birmingham and Solihull in Tier 3, from next week. Calling it Tier 3 does not get away from the fact that this is a continued and full-scale lockdown, especially for the hospitality sector; an industry that is being systematically destroyed.

Whilst this may be viewed by Government as a two-week measure, the true effects are much harsher. Tier 3 effectively shuts down many of this sector’s great businesses and denies them an ability to trade over a period that is critical for every hospitality business – big and small.

Lasan Jewellery Quarter
Award-winning Lasan is based on James Street in the Jewellery Quarter

Jabbar continues and calls for urgent financial support with the government essentially wiping out three months of trade.

Rishi Sunak, Matt Hancock, Boris Johnson and the Government must be prepared to stand up, do the right thing and lead this sector-in-crisis with immediate and real financial support that not only protects businesses, but safeguards jobs, too.

What is abundantly clear is that last orders, for many, is not 9pm, 10pm or otherwise, it’s right here and right now.

The JQBID will continue to work with Birmingham City Council, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, and Business Improvement Districts in lobbying central government to provide more adequate support to businesses.

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