Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said the highest level of restrictions could “ultimately lead to some [companies making] very difficult decisions into the New Year… without the necessary support, this could be devastating for thousands of small businesses, and tens of thousands of jobs”.
Meanwhile Tej Parikh, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, said the tier announcement would be “make or break” for many businesses depending on which level of restrictions they fall into.
He added: “The Government must be prepared to ramp up its support for those under tighter restrictions.”
Regions in the North of England that have higher rates of Covid infections will face the most stringent restrictions, including Hull and Sheffield. Despite being in tier 1 pre-lockdown, Kent will also be placed in tier 3 for at least two weeks.
David Hooper of the Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce said there were “major concerns” for the hospitality sector in the region, which would be forced to remain shut during its busiest time of year.
Louisa Harrison-Walker, executive director of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, said on Sky News: “We’ve got some very serious concerns because 94pc of the businesses in our region are micro SMEs and a lot of those have fallen into the excluded and forgotten gap.