No shift to Orange difficult for impacted businesses - momentum for recovery must stay up
Heart of the City is disappointed that certainty hasn’t been given today, with no date for a move to Orange and no extension of targeted assistance for impacted businesses, but momentum for recovery must continue.
Viv Beck, Chief Executive, Heart of the City says that “Whilst foot traffic and spending has been creeping up, this is off a low base and we need to keep the momentum up, despite there being no certainty today with a shift to Orange. Things have started to look up over the last week or so with a noticeable increase in foot traffic and spending has improved – but with the numbers still down significantly on last year, we needed Orange to bring a major injection of people back into the city centre.”
Beck says that “The latest spending results show that city centre spending was more than 40% down on the same time last year, and pedestrian counts nearly 50% down. This is still seriously hurting some businesses and COVID-19 business support payments should now be extended. The stress on some right now is untenable.”
Heart of the City isn’t waiting until Orange to plan for activity that’s focused on attracting people to the city. Beck says that “We are focused on making the city centre as vibrant as can be with some great initiatives planned, including a campaign that began today to encourage workers back to the office. We have to keep looking forward and we are energised about the coming months and helping our businesses come through this devastating experience.”
Beck says that “The reality is that there are still businesses that can’t trade under Orange and those major indoor events that are not possible under Red are a big drawcard for visitors. Some may be able to get compensation if they can’t proceed but the sectors around them can’t.”