A Fife business leader has warned another week in Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions could spell the end for struggling traders.
Alan Mitchell, chief executive of Fife Chamber of Commerce, said: “Many businesses have demonstrated that they can trade safely. What they can’t do just now is trade profitably, and if they cannot trade profitably, quite frankly they won’t be trading at all.”
While some areas in Scotland have seen an easing of Covid-19 restrictions, including Angus, which drops to Tier 2 on Friday, Fife will remain in Tier 3 along with Dundee and Perth and Kinross for at least another week.
Under Tier 3, no alcohol can be served at restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars and all customers must be off the premises by 6pm.
Mr Mitchell questioned the decision to keep Fife in Tier 3, adding: “The Scottish Government are ultimately not listening and businesses are being asked to bear a disproportionate burden in the fight against covid.
“There is no statistical evidence to demonstrate that in any way, shape or form are the businesses that are affected by closures major contributors to the spread of covid across our communities.”
He said the decision not to ease restrictions across Fife on Friday left a very short window for leisure and hospitality businesses to generate revenue ahead of Christmas and many were losing confidence in their hopes of long term survival.
“This is nine months now that many businesses across Fife have seen either no income of severely reduced income streams, and it’s not possible for businesses to indefinitely survive on that basis,” he added.
“That’s jobs that will be lost, that’s local spending power that will be lost, that’s taxation that’s lost, that’s public sector spending in the future that’s lost.
“None of this comes without any implications and if we want to get our economy up and running as quickly as possible we need to keep businesses open now.”