Excessive avenue chains have issued a united cry for assist, warning that working from residence has triggered an ‘financial emergency’.

In a joint letter to the Prime Minister, bosses mentioned the failure to get workers again to the workplace posed an ‘existential’ risk to many companies.

The letter, seen by the Mail, was signed by greater than 80 chief executives, together with the heads of Greene King, Pizza Specific, Caffe Nero and Marriott Motels. 

It was organised by the chief govt of UK Hospitality, which represents 700 companies and 3million employees. 

High street chains have issued a united cry for help, warning that working from home has triggered an ‘economic emergency’. Pictured: An almost deserted Piccadilly Circus in London

Excessive avenue chains have issued a united cry for assist, warning that working from residence has triggered an ‘financial emergency’. Pictured: An nearly abandoned Piccadilly Circus in London

Their efforts have been supported by the British Retail Consortium, which represents 5,000 companies. The signatories make use of near half 1,000,000 individuals.

Their letter, despatched to Boris Johnson earlier this week, mentioned: ‘Earlier than Covid, half 1,000,000 employees got here to central London on daily basis however many companies haven’t any speedy plans for employees to return to workplaces. 

‘This has existential dangers for companies in hospitality and its provide chain, in addition to retail, leisure and leisure, which mixed make use of round 20 per cent of Londoners.

Gerry Ford, founder and chief executive of Caffe Nero

Its signatories include D&D chairman Des Gunewardena, whose firm has restaurants in Manchester, Leeds and London

Its signatories embrace D&D chairman Des Gunewardena (proper), whose agency has eating places in Manchester, Leeds and London, and Gerry Ford (left), founder and chief govt of Caffe Nero

‘Motion to construct public belief to ranges that can set off a return of protected journey into central London has turn into a social and financial emergency… residents and employees have to be persuaded that public transport is protected and their workplaces are protected.’

The letter additionally warned of the devastating results of a collapse in tourism. 

It known as for a blizzard of promotions and campaigns to advertise the message that Britain is ‘open for enterprise, protected and welcoming’. 

Versatile season tickets plan 

Rail firms are set to supply versatile season tickets to encourage extra employees to get again to workplaces, Boris Johnson has mentioned.

The Prime Minister advised MPs the Authorities was working with rail corporations to supply tickets for individuals who won’t be within the workplace 5 days per week.

Many workplaces will be unable to accommodate all their employees on the identical time due to social distancing.

One concept mooted for versatile season tickets is that they may very well be purchased to cowl three days as an alternative of a full week.

At Prime Minister’s Questions Tory MP Damian Inexperienced urged Mr Johnson ‘to encourage the rail business to introduce versatile season tickets instantly’ to assist workplace workers return.

The Prime Minister replied that the Authorities was working with corporations on tickets that might ‘allow individuals to get again to work in a versatile means’.


Failure to step up present efforts ‘will see companies fail and the triggering of an financial downward spiral’, the letter added.

Its signatories embrace D&D chairman Des Gunewardena, whose agency has eating places in Manchester, Leeds and London. 

He mentioned of the letter: ‘It’s a cry for assist. It’s blindingly apparent that there’s a short-term drawback as a result of individuals aren’t of their workplaces and there aren’t any vacationers. 

‘There’s a gap there for the little cafes, the place you get sneakers mended… they’re severely affected.’

Gerry Ford, founder and chief govt of Caffe Nero, mentioned: ‘We’d like a renewed and prolonged authorities push within the autumn and past to encourage individuals again to those city areas. 

‘If not, there’s a very critical threat to companies’ potential to commerce and defend jobs.’

Official information exhibits that 730,000 jobs have already been misplaced for the reason that coronavirus disaster hit Britain in March. 

Some forecasts recommend unemployment might rise to three.5million by Christmas because the furlough scheme involves an finish. 

The Prime Minister claimed earlier this week that ‘massive numbers’ are returning to workplaces after colleges started to reopen on Tuesday. 

Nonetheless, companies within the capital count on only one in seven corporations to deliver nearly all of workers again to the workplace by the top of September. 

Financial institution of England official Alex Brazier warned MPs yesterday {that a} ‘sharp return’ was nonetheless unattainable for a lot of as a result of ‘dense workplace environments’.

He advised the Treasury choose committee: ‘I really feel protected coming to work, however I can fairly perceive why many individuals won’t. 

‘It’s not doable to make use of workplace house, notably in central London and locations prefer it, with the depth we used to make use of it.

‘It’s really not doable to deliver numerous individuals again very all of the sudden. 

‘We are able to’t count on to see a sudden and sharp return of numerous individuals to very dense workplace environments that we have been used to. We must always count on a extra phased return.’

A Authorities spokesperson, mentioned: ‘We’ve backed companies with a large bundle of assist, together with over £1.6 billion in grants to nearly 110,000 companies in London.

‘To spice up London’s financial restoration, we’re advising employers to debate with workers how they will safely return to the workplace.

‘We’ve additionally been working intently with transport operators to extend companies again to shut to regular ranges, and to place intensive measures in place to verify these companies are protected to make use of.’