My heart is breaking for the once-thriving businesses across the Windsor constituency and the country. I have met owners of pubs, clubs, restaurants, bars, sports venues, salons and retail outlets. They cannot magically become online businesses. I have spoken to business owners who have literally been in tears on the phone and in person when they think about their staff and their livelihoods.
The new proposed lockdown will prove fatal to many such businesses. There are many questions about the strategy, the need for a lockdown and the generous support the Government are trying to give, but I will contain my question to this: how do the Government intend to protect retail businesses that are forced to close from the increasing dominance of online retailers, which often benefit from lower business rates and taxes than their terrestrial partners?