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26 November 2020c0sk8dBid

Bournemouth Coastal BID said it was disappointed its seven trading areas have been placed in Tier 2, but is urging people to get out and support local businesses.

Only Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and Isles of Scilly have been placed in Tier 1 with the majority of the country in the second tier, which signifies ‘high alert’.

The BID’s chairman Paul Clarke, also a hotelier, believes that the run-up to Christmas will make or break local companies.

He said: “Obviously we wanted to be placed in Tier 1, and felt it would have been safe because of the efforts made by businesses to make themselves Covid secure.

“The rules thankfully allow retailers to re-open and we’d urge people to use them. They’ve been closed for the last month during lockdown and really need a good run-up to Christmas.

“Pubs which don’t sell substantial meals will also have to remain closed and this will affect some of our levy-payers. It’s a huge shame that these community assets will not have their doors open for the busiest time of the year.

“Hotels are slightly better off as bars can stay open for another hour – until 11pm, but some have already chosen to remain closed until next year because the impact of lockdowns has been so great.

“What hotels will suffer from is the Rule of Six, meaning they can’t accommodate large groups of guests.

“In our areas many large families or groups of friends choose to spend Christmas in a hotel, and this now can’t happen.

“This will have a knock-on effect as there will be fewer people in the area to spend money.

“The limit on the number of people allowed at weddings will also affect our area as this is a large part of hotels’ incomes.

“Nightclubs will remain closed and this will have a devastating effect on them and with people still expected to work from home the day time economies will continue to struggle.

“What we do have is resilient, innovative businesses across our villages and with support from residents and visitors they can ride out this pandemic and restrictions and look to prosper during 2021.”

The BID’s trading areas are Tuckton, Pokesdown, Southbourne, Boscombe, East Cliff & West Cliff, Seafront and Westbourne.