A "pause on party politics" would greatly help struggling businesses hampered by lockdown, a retail expert has said.

Malmesbury's Gordon MacPherson, of the Retailer Group, has highlighted the "set of challenges" that different sets of retailers face during this lockdown.

He said: "I work closely with businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors and I see these businesses categorised into four types. The first includes those that are thriving – the firms that are lucky to operate in either a niche or essential sector, have pivoted online or have the funds to invest cheaply in businesses that have taken the hit, we are likely to see examples of this over the coming months with Fraser Group (sports Direct ) already benefiting as the buy distressed businesses.

"The second type of business we’re seeing is those that buckle down and plan ahead – these tend to be organisations that have the funds to weather the storm and can rest assured they will eventually return to normal.

"The third type of business includes firms that are well-managed but are under enormous pressure due to serious cash flow issues and that may well have folded if it had not been for government intervention like the furlough scheme.

"The final bucket of businesses is, unfortunately, those that haven’t been able to benefit from government support, or are already in bad shape, and that are likely to fold as a result.

“Each group has its own set of challenges and whilst there is no easy answer to the current predicament there are actions to take which can help in all scenarios. Reviewing cost, renegotiating with suppliers and using digital solutions to keep the business connected with their customer base are only a few examples."

Charities are also suffering from the latest restrictions. As well as traditional fundraising activities, charity shops on high streets across the nation have accounted for smaller profits amid closures.

“Our organisations are going to be the ones picking up the pieces”, Olivia Barker White, trustee of The Small International Development Charities Network, has said. What's more, 75% of charities expect higher levels of demand over the next year, according to Pro Bono Economics.

Mr MacPherson added: “The lockdown will be a blow for the charity sector. This sector is not without its challenges as a high percentage of the workforce is volunteer-led, likely elderly, and in a group that may wish to shield.

"However, with vacant buildings on the high streets and landlords more open to rent negotiations, an opportunity exists for charities to open shops or coffee shops in the right towns. This opportunity is under review now by a number of switched-on charities.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Gordon MacPhersonGordon MacPherson“Most politicians are operating in good faith and in extremely difficult circumstances. That said, politics are getting in the way of resolving issues. Across nations within the UK and across parties, politics are seriously hampering progress and decision making. All parties working together, and with a pause on party politics, in favour of the common good, is the route to resolving many of the issues and would aid decision making.

"Leaders of all political leanings need to consider this carefully.”