Tier Three 'will set Sunderland back ten years' warns city businessman
A Tier Three coronavirus lockdown risks putting Sunderland back ten years, an award-winning city businessman has warned.
Monie Hussain owns and operates Yuvraaj in Ashbrooke, the three times winner of the Echo’s Curry House of the Year Award.
He has been overwhelmed by the support of regular customers since reopening after lockdown, but says the business is still only ticking over and he fears many other venues are in the same position.
"To be fair, we have been one of the best ones so far in terms of business so I have got all my staff off furlough. We are doing alright,” he said.
"But it is more about survival at the moment. I don’t think any business is thinking about profit and making money.
"It is desperate out there. Tier Three is going to kill it off. It is going to be massive for the city.
"It will put the city back ten years with the number of businesses that will close. If we have Tier Three, we are in for a desperate time.
"We are keeping going, there are businesses out there that are hanging on by a thread.
"Everyone is just on the brink and I think Tier Three will push everyone off the cliff, to be honest.”
North East council leaders have managed to avoid the region being put into Tier 3 restrictions in recent weeks.
However the Government and leaders are set to meet on Monday November 2 and there are fears the move will be made in the coming days or weeks.
Continued uncertainty over when – or even if – the city will enter Tier Three is already having an impact, making it difficult to plan for staffing and supplies week-by-week and having an impact on the restaurant’s bookings over the Festive Period.
"The most annoying thing is the uncertainty, it is the fact we don’t know what we are doing next week,” said Monie.
And that uncertainty extends to customers, which in turn has a knock-on effect on the business: “If people don’t know whether they are even going to be able to come out, they don't book in advance.
"Normally, we would have people booking in for next week. How am I supposed to know what I need in terms of staff, in terms of supplies?"