Published November 24, 2020 at 20:00
Rossendale Borough Council have released the findings from a survey they undertook to explore the impact of Covid-19 and subsequent effect on businesses and public attitudes.
The survey of over 100 businesses and nearly 1,000 residents was commissioned in order to gain a better understanding of how the Government needs to better support Rossendale recover.
Council Leader Alyson Barnes said: “A key focus is how the Government support local communities and help business recover.
“As a council we have done as much as we can to address the situation. We’ve supported 1,600 local businesses through the Government’s business grant schemes and our Rossendale Connected Hub has helped over 2,000 people and galvanised over 60 community groups to co-ordinate support.
“But, if we’re to continue to provide help it’s important that we demonstrate clearly to Government what does and doesn’t work. The survey provided clear messages on the kind of help Rossendale needs.”
Two thirds of the businesses who responded to the survey had seen at least a 25% reduction in their turnover, with micro businesses being particularly affected.
Cllr Barnes continued: “The Government’s support has had a positive effect in stabilising a number of local businesses. However, 68% of our businesses are at risk of collapse if sufficient Government financial support is not sustained until a full recovery is made. They need the existing financial support to remain in place whilst any local lockdown restrictions are in place.”
The survey also showed that locally public attitudes have changed since the Summer. Only 58% of local people agreed with the tier 3/national lockdown measures. This compares to over 90% support for the first lockdown measures. And 69% of people think the measures will probably not significantly halt the current high rate of infection in Rossendale.
“There is strong evidence that the public have become less concerned about the perception of risk associated with the second wave of infections. There is also considerable confusion amongst the public as a result of regularly changing Government guidance. Four out of five people locally think the recent rise in Covid cases are most likely due to people getting tired of the rules. It appears a number of the current restrictions are not having the effect Government hoped.
“If we are to get on top of this pandemic and come out of it with as many businesses and livelihoods in place as possible then as well as everyone pulling together, it is absolutely essential that Government listens to and takes notice of what local authorities are saying.
“This survey is invaluable in demonstrating the concerns and needs of businesses and residents in Rossendale and will enable us as a council to show where the help is most needed and what is likely to work in a lockdown.”
The full survey can be seen here https://bit.ly/rbccovidsurvey1