The Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD) has welcomed the news of one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises for companies in the hospitality and leisure sectors in England.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s latest announcement also stated that there will be more than £100m of potential discretionary funding made available for local authorities to support other businesses. Furthermore, the government will be covering cost of statutory sick pay for Covid-related absences for small- and medium-sized employers across the country.
James Bielby, chief executive of the FWD, said: “We are very pleased that the new support package specifically includes businesses that supply the hospitality and leisure sector, which means food and drink wholesalers will be supported. The Additional Restrictions Grant has been a lifeline for food distributors who have not been included in direct support for hospitality. It’s very encouraging that the Chancellor has recognised the vital role they play in supplying not only pubs and restaurants but care homes, schools and hospitals.
“Short notice of restrictions on pubs and restaurants means wholesalers who are already holding stock can’t sell it on, leading to million-pound losses and tonnes of food wasted. They need support as much as their customers, if not more. By making money available immediately through the ARG, along with the Covid Additional Relief Fund which the Treasury has recently released to Local Authorities, the Chancellor shows he has listened to the voice of the food supply chain,” he added.