Lincolnshire bosses have mourned the closure of nearly a quarter of the county’s businesses as nearly £200 million has been paid out to support the economy.
Lincolnshire County Council’s executive portfolio holder for economy Councillor Colin Davie told the authority’s executive during a live virtual meeting that £198.7 million had been handed out so far by district and unitary councils – around 80% of the money available.
However, he said “significant changes” to the economy were ahead as the county has lost nearly a total of 24% of businesses had “closed or ceased to trade”, at least temporarily, under the coronavirus pandemic.
“To me this is the greatest area of concern,” said Councillor Davie, adding the majority were in hospitality and tourism.
He said he was working with partners to find solutions as the lockdown moved from phase one to two.
“It’s clear there will be significant changes in the months or years ahead,” said Councillor Davie.
“This has been a substantial shock to our economic system, not just in this country, but around the world.”
Councillor Davie thanked colleagues and staff at the Lincolnshire Enterprise Partnership and councils who he said had “worked tirelessly to support businesses in this very difficult time, particularly as we look to the future”.
He said at the moment, 22% of the county’s workforce had been furloughed – where the tax payer is paying 80% of wages – but 70% of staff were working “normally”.
He concluded that he was “heartened to see the optimism” of a number of business leaders, many of which were using the lockdown to plan for the future.