The Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA) has called on the Scottish Government to ensure the financial support package announced in light of the new temporary restrictions covers wholesalers.
Recognising the difficulties the Scottish Government faces, SWA chief executive Colin Smith said that its those working in in the hospitality and wholesale supply chain which are most directly affected by the need to try and balance public health with the need to support the Scottish economy.
“The temporary hospitality closure in the central belt and the restrictions across Scotland will have a massive impact on pubs, restaurants, hotels and cafes,” he said. “While we welcome that businesses have been listened to based on the Scottish Government’s decision not to close the hospitality sector across the country totally, wholesale businesses are still being subjected to death by a thousand cuts.”
Smith reiterated a call by his organisation last month that any new phase of financial support for the hospitality and tourism sectors includes food and drink wholesalers and other businesses in the hospitality supply chain.
“We welcome the announcement of a £40 million support package and that the Scottish Government will consult urgently on the details in the next few days. Unless a proper supply chain support package is put in place for all of those affected, thousands of jobs and hundreds of businesses will be lost,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association has described the First Minister’s measures as “cataclysmic” for the industry with the fallout being hundreds of business closures and thousands of job losses.
“The recent introduction of the 10pm closing time plus the two-household group of six rule is having a devasting effect on the industry,” explained its managing director Colin Wilkinson. “Closures are looming and now today’s announcement of further restrictions and temporary lockdowns will only accelerate business failure and job losses.”