As someone living in and representing Glasgow, I shared the city’s disappointment that we will be remaining in Level Three restrictions for another week.

While the announcement from Nicola Sturgeon wasn’t surprising, it remains extremely tough for the city’s residents who cannot invite their loved ones into their own homes and for the businesses who cannot reopen their doors to their customers.

We know that there are certain parts of the city that have seen a rapid increase in Covid infection rates. We can only hope that the expansion of testing units and the vaccination programme as well as people continuing to follow the tough guidelines that the numbers will fall and we can join the rest of Scotland on the road to recovery.

While there is no sector of the economy that has been left untouched by this pandemic, our hospitality industry has borne the brunt of many of the restrictions. Vital jobs and livelihoods are under great risk across Glasgow. The First Minister regularly says she understands the hardship faced by small businesses unable to open their doors or operate on a sustainable basis, but the truth is that her words of empathy fall on deaf ears with many of her business owners.

What they need is an SNP Government who will finally bring them round the table ahead of key decisions and for these decisions to be communicated in good time and with a solid explanation of public health policy behind these decisions.

Unfortunately during the course of the pandemic, all three of these have been sorely lacking, particularly in consulting with our hospitality industry.

Glasgow Chamber of Commerce deputy chief executive Richard Muir said she was aware of one restaurant owner losing £12,000 in staff and perishable food costs as a result of the decision to keep the city in Level Three restrictions at the last moment at the last week.

Andrew McRae, Scotland policy chair of the Federation of Small Businesses added: “The bare minimum that local and independent businesses should expect is adequate notice of changes to the plan, alongside sufficient financial support.

"This week, some hospitality businesses in Glasgow faced a heartbreaking dilemma when they realised they couldn’t furlough the staff they’d taken on for re-opening.”

The SNP Government’s failure to consult with small businesses has been prevalent throughout the last 14 months but is especially acute now that Glasgow is the only local authority area under Level Three restrictions. 

These aren’t fat cat companies raking in the cash. They are small independently run cafés, community pubs, and family-owned restaurants. Each have an obligation to the staff they employ and the supply chains they utilise and the least they could expect from policy makers is more than a few days notice when jobs and livelihoods are at stake. I must say I found it hard to understand Nicola Sturgeon’s explanations for keeping East Renfrewshire in Level Two, despite her extensive reasoning. 

While that was good news for residents there, there needs to be greater clarification over the thinking behind decisions when keeping areas at a certain level.

I’ve written many times in this column about the light at the end of the tunnel. 

While this city remains in tougher restrictions than the rest of the country, we mustn’t allow that light to extinguish for thousands of Glasgow’s small businesses and the jobs they sustain.