Northumberland in Labour list of
Northumberland in Labour list of 'hollowed out' high streets
New analysis released by Labour has revealed that the whole of the county of Northumberland is in the top 20 places in the country most at risk of hollowed out high streets because they have the highest proportion of hospitality, tourism, retail and leisure businesses as firms warn they will go bust without further action from government. 

Across England, 11.7 per cent of all businesses are hospitality, tourism, leisure and non-essential retail businesses, like hotels and B&Bs, restaurants and pubs, clothes and book shops, travel agencies, hairdressing and beauty salons.
In Northumberland this figure stands at 14 per cent.
Labour Group leader Susan Dungworth said: “Hospitality, tourism, retail and leisure businesses have been some of the hardest hit during the pandemic and are facing a cash crisis.
“Closed from trading yet facing shrinking government support, with cash grants worth just a fraction of the amount made available during the first lockdown, they are experiencing dwindling cash reserves, burdened with debt, and fast approaching a dead end in multiple government support schemes.”
Labour has urged the government to confirm it will extend the 100 per cent business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses for at least another six months, continue the reduced rate of VAT for businesses in the hospitality, tourism and culture sectors and give businesses greater flexibility to manage debt, including student loan style arrangements.
Labour’s shadow business secretary Ed Miliband said: “We are facing a national economic crisis, but it’s clear that if high street businesses like restaurants, hotels, shops and salons go bust the impact will be felt much more deeply by communities in counties like Northumberland.
“It’s striking that before Covid these places were bustling with tourism and trade. Businesses were supported by visitors and local people and they will be again when our economy can open up. 

“Standing by and letting these businesses collapse with the vaccine rollout making huge progress and recovery in sight would be absolutely devastating for business owners and employees who have done the right thing by shutting to help tackle the virus.  
“The government must stand up for local high streets and abandon the sink or swim approach. They must urgently confirm they will extend business rates relief to give struggling businesses the breathing room they need. We cannot allow these places to be hollowed out.”
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