The government needs to adopt a "coherent and strategic approach" instead of constantly changing direction, says Merton Councillor Paul Kohler.

Cllr Paul Kohler, owner of cabaret bar CellarDoor, says businesses need a "stable environment" to operate, plan and invest, and fears for the aftermath of the second lockdown.

After experiencing the 'disastrous' impact of the 10 pm curfew, the owner of the West End cabaret bar says he isn't looking forward to the period after lockdown.

The councillor says the extension of the furlough scheme will prevent his bar from redundancies. However, he is fearful that the continuing of restrictions after lockdown will make it impossible to trade.

He said: "The lockdown, in of itself, is not the issue for as I've said it is at least better than what went before.

Wimbledon Times:

"However, it feels like death by a thousand cuts and I fear the end of lockdown will mark the return to the worst of all possible worlds.

"With Tier 2 restrictions, a 10 pm curfew and no business support or furlough assistance."

He added:

The government is too reactive, often adopting contradictory positions, such as Eat Out TO Help Out, swiftly followed by the 10pm curfew.

"They need to adopt a coherent approach and then stick to it."

Mr Kohler speaks on how lockdown has been for his business so far...

"After cutting our capacity by 50% and spending thousands installing social distancing measures and ventilation. The 10 pm curfew, followed by the Tier 2 restrictions banning mixing outside the household, was a disaster for late-night bars such as CellarDoor.

"We lost our busiest three hours each evening without receiving any further financial support in an environment where people could not socialise with friends.

Wimbledon Times:

Strategically placed social distance mannequins

"The lockdown is better than the curfew/tier 2 restrictions for both my bar and my employees as the government has extended furlough and business support.

"However, November and December are our busiest months and thus the lockdown will still have an extremely serious affect on my bar."

CellarDoor hasn't made any staff redundant over the pandemic and during the initial lockdown topped up staff's furlough payments to 100% of the London Living Wage.

Mr Kohler says an extended lockdown could be better than more curfews and Tier 2 restrictions.

Speaking about the possibility of an extended lockdown, Mr Kohler added:

"Although losing the Christmas market would be very difficult, it would be preferable provided that the furlough and business support continued."

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