“At one minute past midnight tonight, new Covid-19 restrictions will come in to place that will make the already perilous situation for our economy even tougher than it already is.
“As Leaders of the Liverpool City Region, we all understand why further restrictions may be needed to halt the spread of Covid-19 in the communities we represent. But we also know that at the same time they will deal a hammer blow to our economy and in particular to our vital hospitality and leisure sector, on which over 50,000 jobs depend across our region.
“This afternoon, we want to send a message to those businesses that we understand the pain you are going through, your fight to survive and that we stand with you.
“We have made it clear to the Government that with new restrictions must come a comprehensive package of financial support for our economy and that this is particularly urgent for businesses in your sector, many of which have already reached breaking point.
“We pledge to you that we are doing everything we can to convince the Government to help.
“But we know that this is not enough and that words will not help you pay your staff, your rent or your suppliers.
“And, as elected leaders, we are collectively committed to Build Back Better from Covid-19. But we know that once a business is gone it is gone and that if we do not act now to protect our economy from these new restrictions, we risk having nothing to build back from.
“So, our teams are now working at full-tilt, in partnership across the Combined Authority and our six Local Authorities, to identify and re-purpose tens-of-millions of pounds in to a package of emergency interim financial support.
“The details of this are currently being worked through and whilst we know we can’t provide funding for every single business across the Liverpool City Region, we aim to support as many as practicably possible with the funding we have.
“We have taken this extremely difficult decision with the aim of providing last resort, stop-gap funding to keep viable businesses going in the short-term, while we continue to lobby the Government to invest in our economic survival and our future recovery.
“We hope to be able to announce the details of the fund early next week and urge those businesses who are teetering on the edge to hold fire on any immediate decisions until we have further details on what financial support we are able to offer.”
Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region
Cllr Rob Polhill
Leader of Halton Council
Joe Anderson OBE
Mayor of Liverpool
Cllr Graham Morgan
Leader of Knowsley Council
Cllr Ian Maher
Leader of Sefton Council
Cllr David Baines
Leader of St Helens Council
Cllr Janette Williamson
Leader of Wirral Council