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Beale: ‘Supply chain must be eligible for cash grants’

Published:  26 October, 2020

The WSTA has urged the government to clarify that the cash grants promised as a support measure for the hospitality sector applies to the supply chain too. 

The call follows the raft of support measures announced in the Commons last Thursday (22 October), including additional support for those businesses impacted by Tier 2 lockdown restrictions.

“Supply chain businesses must be eligible for the cash grants promised as a support measure for the hospitality sector. Anything else would simply not be good enough,” said CEO Miles Beale.  

The trade body is now “urgently seeking clarification from government officials that they are indeed eligible”, he added.

“We have been making the case that businesses that supply pubs, bars and restaurants with their wines and spirits have been ineligible for much of the support afforded to others in the sector, despite their ability to operate being just as much impacted by measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19,” he said. 

Also noting the government’s allocation of an additional 5% ‘top up’ to cover other businesses that might be affected by the local restrictions, Beale said what while awaiting full clarification that suppliers have access to the full programme of financial support, the WSTA urged local authorities to ensure that the ‘top up’ allocation was made available to those in the hospitality supply chain.

“They are just as affected as the customer-facing hospitality businesses that they support and are facing critical cashflow challenges as we approach the key Christmas trading period,” he said. 

The urge for clarification comes shortly after the WSTA reiterated its concerns for businesses that supply the hospitality sector earlier this month following the introduction of a three-tier lockdown system.