Monthly Archives: June 2020

Jessie Joe Jacobs calls for measures to help small businesses restart the economy

First published in Tees Business  on 05_06_2020

Jessie Joe Jacobs calls for measures to help small businesses restart the economy

Jessie Joe Jacobs is calling on the Tees Valley Mayor to show leadership and develop innovative plans to help businesses recover and protect jobs. The unprecedented lockdown has put many businesses under intense financial strain which many will find it difficult to recover from. Helping businesses come back from this will be a challenge unlike any other and while businesses are showing their innovative side that needs to be matched by the Mayor too.

Jessie has set out a number of areas where the Mayor could help local businesses reopen and maintain profitability. Firstly, to assist with small grants to help cafes, pubs and restaurants to adapt to the new rules for example in purchasing new outdoor chairs and tables. Secondly, refocusing tourism promotion work on domestic tourists and even Teessiders themselves, helping people to discover some of the quieter hidden corners of the area. Thirdly, a fund to help local food and drink producers reach customers, either through outdoor markets or digital sales platforms. To work with national and local government leaders to temporarily ease up on restrictive planning laws to reduce red tape and allow for innovation and flexibility in the use of outside space for socialising and entertainment

Jessie Joe Jacobs said, “If we are to recover from this crisis we need to be bold and ambitious with our plans. We’re seeing innovative plans from other places for pop-up pedestrianisation to allow for pubs and cafes to spread outdoors as well as outdoor markets. Lots of people across Teesside work in hospitality and we need to support those jobs. The big one size fits all business grants of yesterday won’t help kick-start the economy in the way we need.

“We have got to be flexible in how we respond to this and things are changing very quickly but the Mayor has to show leadership. We need our economy to grow faster than anywhere else in order to close the gap between us and other areas that existed before this crisis. We’ve got to work doubly hard and that needs leadership from the Mayor and to use the resources he has to help us recover.”

We need unity and the building of bridges

First printed in Gazette 11th June 2020

Jessie Joe Jacobs is hosting an online Town Hall meeting to discuss how the Tees Valley can tackle racism given the worldwide anger over the death of George Floyd in America. The meeting will take place tonight (Thursday 11th June) at 7.30pm on Facebook Live. The Town Hall meeting will be a conversation with charity and community leaders, anti-racism campaigners and people of colour. The aim of the call will be to look at practical actions and how people can come together to tackle racism.

In advance of the meeting Jessie Joe Jacobs said, “The Tees Valley will never be all it can be while we are ridden with divisions. This is why I’m speaking out today about the actions of some of our political leaders in the Tees Valley around the issue of racism.

“At a time where we need unity and the building of bridges, Ben Houchen, Andy Preston and Simon Clarke have either denied there is an issue, or worse made reference to monuments, that absolutely no-one locally from the black lives matter movement or BAME community has highlighted as a problem let alone called for the removal of.

The issues that local BAME communities are actually raising are things like being discriminated against at work, being verbally attacked in the street, bullied at school, prejudiced in the criminal justice system, treated badly by neighbours, having their shops vandalised, being spat at, feeling fearful on public transport or facing abuse in the community.

“To move forward we need unity and understanding. I refer to the wording of the Teesside Motto which is ‘Progress In Unity’ and ask that our political and community leaders
work with me to heal divisions and bring Teesside back together at this difficult time.