Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce raises coronavirus concerns with MP and council leaders

PUBLISHED: 13:00 17 March 2020

Simon Jupp, MP, during a visit to Sidmouth last year. Ref shs 46 19TI 4243. Picture: Terry Ife

Simon Jupp, MP, during a visit to Sidmouth last year. Ref shs 46 19TI 4243. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Sidmouth business leaders are to raise their concerns ahbout the economic effect of the coronavirus with the East Devon MP, Simon Jupp.

The Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce has also contacted the leaders of the town and district councils, calling for ‘specific measures to address the problems that local businesses face’.

It follows the Government’s advice on ‘social distancing’, which urges people to avoid pubs, clubs, cinemas, theatres and restaurants, along with all unnecessary travel, to curb the spread of the virus.

The Chamber fully supports these precautions, but also wants to be reassured that steps will be taken to help businesses that face major losses as a result of the restrictions.

A spokesman for the Chamber said: “The Chamber is obviously concerned for our business community, and there is no doubt that this will be an extremely challenging period for us all.

“We are particularly exposed to the economic situation, because Sidmouth is reliant upon tourism and our clientele is typically elderly.

“For our hotels and accommodation providers, the impact will be very severe indeed.

“This will also extend to our pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants, which form such an important component of our local economy.

“The overwhelming need is for everyone to stay safe and accede to government guidance and advice.

“Sidmouth has an elderly and therefore vulnerable population, so we as a community have to get together and do whatever we can to help our neighbours and provide assistance where required.

“Sidmouth has a sense of community and resilience that will stand us in good stead during these very difficult and troubling times.

“The Chamber has been in contact with Simon Jupp, our MP, to discuss the situation, and with the leaders of the town and district councils.

“We are urging specific measures to address the problems that local businesses face.

“This is a time for our local authorities to show a proactive, sympathetic and flexible approach towards the business community.

“We are monitoring the crisis closely, and especially the impact upon our local economy.

“In particular, we need to formulate plans for ensuring a speedy recovery once the virus is defeated.”

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