Concerns raised over Omicron’s impact on businesses

Concern has been voiced about the impact Omicron risks having on high street businesses.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has issued a warning following advice from the First Minister.

It is hoped financial support will be made available to any operator impacted by new restrictions.

Nicola Sturgeon urged people to cancel their Christmas parties amid fears of a “tsunami” of Omicron cases.

FSB’s Highlands and Islands development manager David Richardson said: “Many businesses, and especially those in tourism and hospitality, retail and other customer-facing trades, will be deeply worried.

“It’s not just about deferring Christmas parties, extremely damaging to the businesses concerned though this be.

“It’s about the way the general public reacts to the words of the First Minister, Public Health Scotland and others.

“What impact will they have on the desire of shoppers and others to go out and about in the run-up to Christmas, and on the many businesses that depend on them?”

Mr Richardson said small businesses had travelled “a long and rocky road since March 2020”.

“Until a few short weeks ago they were hoping that life was returning to near normal and that 2022 would be the year to rebuild.

“This is now threatened.

“Should the worst happen, and further restrictions have to be introduced, they [businesses] will also trust that governments will step in with fresh financial support as necessary.”


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