The key to recovery for Dundee in the wake of the pandemic is to support local businesses, the council leader has stressed.
John Alexander has urged people to get behind independent businesses, in particular the hospitality trade, which he admits has borne the brunt of the economic impact of the Covid pandemic.
His plea comes as a leading city publican asks the council to take a second look at their overprovision of alcohol policy in a bid to bet the trade back on track.
John Alexander said: “In many ways, hospitality has bore the brunt of the economic impact of Covid-19.
“Over and above the health emergency, this has been a disaster for the economy generally. I’ve said before that I believe the impact of this crisis will take a number of years to recover from.
“That being the case, it’s all the more important that we work to support existing businesses to survive and plan for the next 12 months.”
“Financial lifelines, tax reliefs and schemes like furlough are all vital to protect what we have. The focus, right now, has to be on stemming the flow and reducing the jobs and businesses that will be lost.”
Mr Alexander said the council has already pushed out roughly £30 million to local businesses, with a new grant scheme launched yesterday.
But he also said it was vital locals focused on spending their money where possible to ensure traders were able to get back on their feet.
Jimmy Marr, who owns a variety of hospitality businesses, said he believes the leader has got it right.
However he also believes that the council should look at their overprovision of alcohol policy, which restricts new off-licence businesses from opening, to help inject cash back into the economy.
Mr Marr said: “I agree with everything he is saying but I still think the hospitality industry needs much more help going forward.
“I also believe the council need to look at their policy of over provision as if any one or any company wants to invest in our city they should be encouraged to do so and each application should be looked on in its own merit not an overall blanket ban.”