FRANCE: A local family restaurant has been forced to close its doors after 20 years due to the COVID lockdown, highlighting again how while the pandemic helped make the rich far richer, ordinary people continue to suffer.
Julios, a Mexican/Italian restaurant in the village of Oughtibridge, Sheffield, announced the closure on its Facebook page.
“Julio’s Restaurant and the Cosy Café wish you a very Happy Easter!!! We would also like to thank you for your support during almost twenty years! Thank you!!! Sadly and due to unexpected circumstances(covid19) we have been forced to close our doors for good. Nevertheless I will have happy memories of all of you. Ignacio and staff,” said the Facebook post.
Given that Julios was the only restaurant in the area (aside from pubs, which are also struggling), its loss is sure to be keenly felt by the local community given that it had been a much loved gathering place for almost 20 years.
The demise of Julios is just a microcosm of how the lockdown has wiped out pubs, restaurants and other small businesses across the UK.
Figures from back in May showed that almost 10 per cent of restaurants had been closed down, while mid-market “casual dining” venues have fallen by 19.4%. These figures are offset by including new restaurants that opened during the pandemic, so the true figure is even higher.
Another report found that almost 10,000 licensed premises – including pubs, clubs and restaurants, had closed down during 2020.
And while small businesses and family-run operations were eviscerated by the lockdown, larger companies took advantage.
Worldwide, the combined wealth of the world’s 10 richest men rose by $540bn, including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos who saw his personal wealth grow by $86 billion as Amazon shares soared.
According to an Oxfam report, billionaires exploited the the impact of lockdown to create a “rigged economy,” causing expanding wealth inequality during the “worst economic downturn in a century”.
A record number of billionaires were also created in the UK during the pandemic even as millions of ordinary people lost their jobs and saw their businesses go under.
Lockdowns have also seen 150 million people globally pushed into extreme poverty.
Given that wealth inequality has made the rich richer and the poor poorer, in addition to the introduction of vaccine passports that will create a two tier society that discriminates against the poor and ethnic minorities, you’d think the left would be more vocal in opposing lockdown policies.
In reality, they have vehemently supported them at every turn and even called for much harsher restrictions.
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