A senior opposition councillor is urging the council to back a budget amendment that would create a £1m Covid recovery fund to support Leeds’ hospitality sector.
Councillor Matthew Robinson (Conservative, Harewood) said the fund was precisely what is needed to support Leeds’ pubs, restaurants, cafés, and other hospitality businesses, who have been hit the hardest by social distancing restrictions.
The proposal, which is one of a series of budget amendments in the name of opposition leader, Cllr Andrew Carter, will be voted on at the full council meeting on Wednesday (23rdFebruary).
Councillor Matthew Robinson (Shadow Lead Member for Resources) said:
“The pandemic has had an impact on all businesses, but the hospitality sector has been one of the hardest hit, making it impossible for pubs and restaurants to tradeat anything like normal levels. The government has already provided significant funds and support for businesses, but we think Leeds should create an additional £1m local fund to be used for business support or improvement and to help get these businesses to the other side of the pandemic.
“Funding for this Hospitality Sector Support Fund would be sourced from a bid to the Leeds City Region Business Rates Pool, and we think it would be an important statement about how we intend to support the sector to recover and boost our local economy.
“This is one of a series of budget amendments that we will be putting before the council on Wednesday. Despite the financial challenges there are still important decisions that we can take locally that will have a positive impact, and our amendments are focused on helping our city recover and grow over the coming year.”