Cornwall Council has said the impact of lockdown on tourism in the county could amount to £630m in losses, and suggested more than 29,000 jobs are at risk.
A council report published yesterday said it could take "many, many months, if not years", for the area to return to previous levels of growth and business confidence.
Up to 72,800 jobs could be at risk in Cornwall due to the Covid-19 lockdown – 27% of all jobs in the county – of which 29,200 (40%) were accommodation and foodservice jobs.
The report said the significance of the tourism sector to Cornwall's economy has also exacerbated the negative impact of the lockdown on its economy, with an estimated £630m loss to the tourism sector in Cornwall by the end of June.
This does not consider the strong links between the visitor economy and other sectors, such as food and drink and the maritime sector, which are also experiencing significantly reduced demand due to the lockdown of the visitor economy.
Local initiatives to support businesses include providing £600,000 in cashflow support to Cornwall's Business Improvement Districts, providing rent and interest rate holidays where the council is a landlord or lender, providing a grant to Visit Cornwall, and bringing forward £687,000 in planned financial support for Cornwall's cultural and creative sector to help ease cashflow pressures. More than £222m in business grants has been paid out to over 19,500 businesses across Cornwall.
Data from April suggested Cornwall was the English council with the biggest allocation of grants to hand out, suggesting there were more small businesses and retailers claiming rates relief in Cornwall than in any other part of the country.
However, council data also showed that there has been a 401% increase in per pupil applications for free school meals in April 2020 compared to April 2019 from 196 to 983; while April 2020 also saw a 142% increase in the numbers of council tax support claims compared to April 2019.
Cornwall Council is working with Visit Cornwall and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnerships to make representations to the government about the economic impact for Cornwall during the pandemic to secure further assistance in recognition of the significant role that the visitor economy plays.