The indoor children’s play businesses have been forced to stay closed beyond the initial reopening of businesses on 4 July and beyond the further reopening of services on 13th July. Following the Prime Minister’s statement on 17th July, many indoor play establishments have contacted me to express their disappointment at the news that they will remain closed beyond 1 August, without being given a timeline for reopening.
Many of these businesses have thus far not been eligible for the small business grant funding, due to the larger size of the warehouse-based premises from which they operate. They have continued to incur fixed high costs, including rent, insurance and some running costs, despite receiving no income. The support to keep staff on with the Job Retention scheme is most welcome, but this support measure alone does not yet provide adequate financial support to begin to negate the impact of Covid-19 on this sector.
As a result, the indoor children’s play businesses in Wealden are facing serious threat of closure.
The indoor play sector should not be forgotten or allowed to fall between the gaps in the Government’s current unprecedented support package.
I have written to the Chancellor and to the Secretary of State for Business, urging the Government to consider support for this industry (see the attachments below).
Soft play businesses in Wealden are much loved destinations for so many local families and are a key part of our local economy. I appreciate the threat they faced during this challenging time and I have continued to campaign for their support throughout the pandemic.
I am pleased that my campaigning has had an impact and that the children indoor play sector is finally reopening its doors to customers from 15 August.
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