It is without a doubt that businesses in Wrexham and across North Wales have suffered as a result of this pandemic. I have spoken to a variety of Wrexham businesses, from retail to manufacturing, who have expressed their concerns and told me how the pandemic has affected them. I have relayed their concerns to both the UK and Welsh Governments, ensuring they are given the support they need to open their businesses safely and to reboot the local economy.
Today, non-essential shops in England are reopening their doors with Covid safety measures in place, protecting workers and customers. Whilst non-essential shops in Wales remain closed, highstreets in England have sprung back to life. Many Wrexham residents live within 5 miles of the border and will be crossing to nearby facilities, such Cheshire Oaks and Chester, to purchase goods and services. Having spent several months without income, many businesses are relying on the initial rush once their doors reopen, if the Welsh Government continue to impose unnecessary lockdown restrictions, many Welsh customers will have already headed over to England, and this rush will not come to Wrexham businesses.
This has been the most challenging period for shops and high streets in our history, in order for our highstreets to recover from this pandemic, non-essential shops must be allowed to reopen their doors with covid safety measures in place, or risk irrevocable damage to the viability of many local businesses and North Wales’ economy. The R rate in Wales is now reported to be 0.7, it is time for the Welsh Government to review its lockdown restrictions.
In order to reboot Wrexham’s economy, regenerate our town centre, and increase footfall, it is vital that we make sure that Wrexham becomes a priority for both the UK and Welsh Governments. It is no secret that North Wales has been overlooked in terms of investment, by the Welsh Labour Government over the last 20 years, it is time that Wrexham and North Wales are afforded the same opportunities as its South Wales counterparts.
In the coming weeks and months, I will continue to work collaboratively to ensure that North Wales gets the investment that it needs to reboot our economy and see our businesses thrive. As we move into the recovery phase of this pandemic there will be a degree of uncertainty and the gravity of what lies ahead should not be underestimated, but if the pandemic has shown us anything, it is the resilience and adaptability of our businesses and us as a nation. I will continue to be a strong voice for Wrexham as we enter the recovery phase of this pandemic. If you should require any help, please do not hesitate to contact me on the details below:
Sarah Atherton MP
Phone: 020 7219 4886 or 01978 291742
Post: House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA