A COUNCILLOR has called on landlords to provide rent holidays for struggling businesses to help them ‘keep their heads above water.’

Hagley councillor Steve Colella is worried about the future of many businesses in the village, and particularly those in the night time economy.

Hagley is in Tier 2 Covid regulations and while footfall is picking up in the high street after the lifting of the national lockdown, he sees January and February being very quiet and worrying time for businesses.

“These months are usually quiet periods in any high street business. This year will be doubly difficult even in a lower tier and the prospect of a functioning vaccine.”

He hopes smaller, independent retailers could benefit from the demise of some major High Street brands, ‘but the attraction of a day-out-shopping might be a thing of the past”.

“Hagley has stood up well in terms of business longevity, but the night-time economy is under sever threat and will only return to the norm when unconstrained demand can be satisfied.

“We have a very active business community who support each other, and I know that local businesses are supported by the local community too.

“However, I understand that requests for ‘rent holidays’ or reduced rent costs have been ignored by many landlords.

“ Everyone is desperate for signs of economic and social recovery, but businesses need support of landlords to help them keep their heads above water.”