The co-owner of some of the city’s most popular businesses has said they’re ‘not in a good place’ financially in light of the decision to keep Glasgow under Level 3 of lockdown.
Colin Clydesdale, co-owner of The Ubiquitous Chip, Stravaigin, and Hanoi Bike Shop, has warned that businesses face closure over the impact the restrictions will have.
The restrictions mean that alcohol can’t be served indoors, leaving pubs and restaurants out of pocket.
Each time Ubiquitous Chip has been forced to close, Colin estimates it’s cost between £10,000 and £12,000 and between £6,000 and £8,000 to reopen.
Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland, he said: “Even in level three it’s not normal trading conditions. We’ve been under duress, now, for approaching 14 months, I genuinely don’t understand how the Scottish Government thinks hospitality in Glasgow can cope with this.
“We are not in a good place financially. At quarter to five last Friday we got the news that we wouldn’t be moving into a tier we would much rather have been in. We have spent three days phoning 700 people who were all booked in for Saturday, May 22. It took three people, three days to apologise, trying to stay positive while doing it. People are desperate to get back out – we are actually having to hold them at bay.
“We have done as we were told. Hospitality has bent over backwards to adhere to every single new rule. I can go from the epicentre in Glasgow, and if I go 1.7 miles in one direction, I can have a pint, but if I go six miles in the other, to us, I can’t. I don’t understand that. I can’t see how it makes any sense at all.
“It’s a huge financial cost [to the business]. Just having three folk (making cancellation calls) has probably consumed half of the £700 compensation we were so generously offered. ”
Despite furlough still being offered to businesses, employers are required to top it out but some have been unable to meet the cost of topping it up and have been forced to let go of staff.
Colin added: “It’s very simple. If there’s no money coming in, and there’s money going out, it can only last so long. It’s pretty basic stuff.
“Our guys are great. They’ve rolled with the punches at every turn, but the look of despondency on their face last weekend at 5pm when they all realised what had happened – they need a break. It’s relentless.
“It’s very simple. It’s all about sums. How long can you expect businesses to limp along in a loss-making situation before they all start to fold. It just doesn’t make any sense.”
The number of cases per 100,000 people in Glasgow has increased from 71 last week to 122.6 in the seven days to May 18.
Speaking at her briefing on Friday, the First Minister said that Glasgow is ‘yet to turn a corner’ and could remain under Level 3 restrictions for a number of weeks.