A BUSINESS leader has warned this winter is simply “all about survival” after a “torturous” 2020.

Philip Miller MBE, executive chairman of the Stockvale Group which runs Adventure Island, also warned the “country will go down the tubes” without businesses creating wealth a jobs.

Mr Miller said: “After such a disappointing announcement from Boris, the chancellor’s offer of extending the VAT reduction for a few more months is very welcome.

“It’s all about survival for many in the hospitality sector, just trying to keep going until the all clear is sounded.

“Entrepreneurs/business folk are born optimists but these last few months have been torture with so many good businesses fallen by the wayside.

“Every little bit helps but I’m afraid this and the jobs incentives will not be anywhere near enough for so many.”

He also advised: “If you have a job, hang onto it whatever sector you are in private or public.

“Without businesses creating the wealth the country will go down the tubes faster than the chancellor or anyone else will be able to stop it.”

Ron Woodley, Independent deputy leader of Southend Council said: “I think we’ve got to think of the workers and not the bosses but hopefully this will help ensure people have enough money to survive.

“I think it’s good news for everyone and hope it’ll make a big difference to both the workers and business bosses.

“It’s good the Government decided do to something and I think overall the Government has done a good job on the finance side.”

David Burch, Director of Policy at Essex Chambers of Commerce, added: “Chambers of commerce have been lobbying the Government to get more help for our businesses.

“We very welcome this proposal to get further support for our businesses and extend the VAT reduction and think it’s a step in the right direction.

“The Government must monitor the situation and take further action is needed.”

Kevin Robinson, Labour councillor for business, tourism and the economy, said: “It seems this was a collective effort in the Government and it would have been a disaster is the furlough stopped and there was nothing else.

“I think the VAT discount will help our economy and there will be difficult times ahead for many but I am hopeful these schemes will help our workers and jobs.”