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Harrogate business leader 'concerned' for local shops following lockdown announcement

Sara Ferguson, Chair of Harrogate BID, has expressed concern for local shops following the government's planned 'road map' out of lockdown.

A Harrogate business leader has expressed concern for local shops following the government's planned 'road map' out of lockdown. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined his four-step plan yesterday in which non-essential shops will need to wait until April to reopen. And Sara Ferguson, who is Chair of Harrogate BID and co-owns two town centre businesses, is concerned that the dates set out by the government may be too far in the future and that some local businesses will need extra support in order to survive. Sara said:

"The earliest date for retail to open for example is 12th April - that is quite a way off. So yes people have got that date to work towards, but my concern is there are going to be businesses in our area for which that date might be too far off.

"Everyone is being stretched so thin and I’m just hoping that next week with the budget, the government will announce enough support to get us to that point."

[caption id="attachment_1623" align="alignnone" width="2067"] Sara Ferguson is hoping the government will announce extra support for businesses[/caption] If businesses are struggling, Sara has said that Harrogate BID can help out and plan to run "all kinds of initiatives and incentives" in the coming weeks.

Sara added:

"It’s important to know that as business owners, we’re not alone and there are resources out there, whether that’s contacting Harrogate BID and letting us guide to you to where you can get resources, or contacting Harrogate Borough Council.

"The natural instinct under this sort of pressure can be to shut down and feel isolated but that’s not the case. At the BID as we come out of this lockdown, we are going to put together all kinds of initiatives and incentives to help businesses in the area to hit the ground running because it’s crucial we get the town centre back up and running as best it can this year."

Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.

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