Is Lockdown Two is giving an ‘unfair adavantage’ to large retailers?

A number of shop owners in Budleigh Salterton have turned their mannequin's backs on the high street

A number of shop owners in Budleigh Salterton have turned their mannequin's backs on the high street in protest at the current restrictions, which many feel are unfair on small independents. Picture: Sarah's Kitchen. - Credit: Archant

A Budleigh Salterton boutique owner has raised concerns about a ‘loophole’ in the current Covid-19 lockdown restrictions that is giving an ‘unfair advantage’ to large retailers and garden centres.

Large retailers and garden centres are ‘gaining an unfair advantage’ during lockdown two, according to a boutique owner in Budleigh Salterton.

Emma Ranson Bellamy, owner of Snob Boutiques in Budleigh and Tiverton, has told East Devon MP Simon Jupp that large retailers and garden centres are using a loop hole in the current restrictions to sell items that are smaller retailers’ ‘bread and butter’.

Mr Jupp has responded by saying he is working with local businesses to lessen the impact of the lockdown and he anticipates that the area will return to the lowest form of Covid-19 restrictions when the country comes out of lock down on December 2.

“There is much unhappiness in Budleigh as well as in many of the smaller high streets in the area due to the unfairness of the current lockdown restrictions,” said Emma.


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“Large retailers and garden centres are using a loop hole in the current restrictions to sell items that us smaller retailers sell as our ‘bread and butter’ gaining an unfair advantage over the run up to Christmas.

“We all appreciate that we ‘should’ be staying home, protecting the NHS etc, but when some local farm shops are selling from their gifts dept and garden centres from their clothing range and M&S from their numerous lines - is this keeping people in those stores for a limited time to buy their essentials?

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“This appears to be ‘lockdown light’ for everyone except the small independents who barely will be given enough to pay their rents in the next four weeks with the paltry amount being awarded, approximately a 60% reduction from last time.”

Simon Jupp, MP for East Devon, said; “Further flexibility will be most welcome to help support smaller businesses affected by the pandemic. Up to £3,000 is available for businesses forced to close and discretionary support will be available to businesses otherwise ineligible.

“I will work with businesses in East Devon who ask for support with their application and have responded to every high street business who has emailed me with their concerns.

“The current restrictions end on December 2 and I have made it clear we should return to the lowest form of restrictions and reopen businesses closed this month.”

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