A group has formed to ensure Macclesfield’s ‘vibrant’ hospitality industry recovers from Covid lockdown with the help of car parks and pavements. Macclesfield Hospitality Action (MHA) is a group of businesses who either work directly in the industry or as support service providers.
As coronavirus restrictions took hold they ‘completely lost their customer base’ and now the focus is how businesses can reopen successfully but safely.
Andy Thompson, from Macclesfield-based tech support firm Zinc Technical Services, is spearheading the group.
He said: “What does post lockdown easing for the hospitality operators of Macclesfield look like? We know for sure that there will be restrictions on number of guests in venues, and that is at present all we know.
”The first step is to look at available outdoor spaces. As operators are planning to re-open we know that for the residents confidence levels will not be where they were pre-pandemic.
“We hope to create some amazing, safe outdoor spaces, giving us the ability to provide our customers with the best possible experiences, perhaps slightly outside of the norm.
”We want operators to be given the opportunity to better-utilise the outdoor spaces adjacent to them, including pavements, car parks and parking bays - as well as a possible shared area for pop-up offerings.”
A key point for the hospitality industry will be what social distancing will be and if the current 2m rule in the UK is decreased.
The group has spoken with bar, restaurant and cafe owners and is also inviting input from members of the public.
During lockdown some businesses in the food industry have tried to survive by being takeaway only but there are fears this will not be enough to see some of them through the crisis. And as the furlough scheme is eased - and in due course stopped - the group believes this will be when many businesses run the numbers to see if they can continue.
Andy said: “As a group of hospitality focused businesses, either operators or support service providers, we have come together to have a voice for re-opening post lockdown.
“Overnight Zinc, along with all other businesses who work in hospitality, completely lost their customer base. This has been a tricky time for all of us. “What we hope to achieve with MHA is to partner with local government and work together to achieve a successful, safe, and socially distanced hospitality economy bounce back for the town.
”The recovery of the vibrant hospitality economy in Macclesfield is so important and will greatly help the town as a whole.”
Anyone wishing to share ideas can contact email@example.com.