The April 12 date for retailers is too long to wait for most of them, according to the national discount scheme, My VIP Card.
They have new data that shows that a quarter of small businesses see themselves as already on ‘borrowed time’ and are struggling to stay afloat now – and waiting another 7 weeks would be fatal.
A further 28 per cent of businesses they surveyed stated that the first three – six months of post-Lockdown trading will be used to pay off debt.
The discount scheme is urging shoppers to remember to support local businesses as much as they can during the ongoing Lockdown and to shop locally as soon as they reopen.
It recently launched a national campaign, ‘Everyone is a VIP to someone’ to support small business owners and raise awareness of mental health issues in the UK.
Founder Maddy Alexander-Grout, above, said: “I am disappointed by the Prime Minister’s announcement today as I feel that asking local retail to remain closed another seven weeks is just too long.
“We completely support a cautious easing of Lockdown, but I have personally spoken to hundreds of local business owners and many are really struggling to survive now and can’t wait until April to reopen.”