The latest Defra industry sector survey (link to survey here) requests information covering wholesale food sector and provides a key opportunity for businesses to share intelligence with the government on the impacts that the end of the EU Withdrawal transition period and, additionally, the new COVID lockdown restrictions have had and are having on the sector.
Following the announcement of national lockdown, the Chancellor has announced further support available to help businesses. Further, detailed information is available here. The business support schemes continue to distinguish between businesses that have been forced to close and those which may continue to operate but are nonetheless significantly impacted by related closures. For the latter group, additional funding has been made available to the Additional Restrictions Grant scheme (ARG), which will be administered by local authorities. Guidance bringing wholesalers clearly within scope of the ARG has been provided to local authorities, which have been urged to make prompt award decisions and payments. Wholesalers are encouraged to apply for this tailored assistance. Wholesalers will also continue to be able to utilise the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CRJS), which will now remain open until the end of April 2021.
We are aware that wholesale operations are significantly impacted by enforced closure of client businesses and, in particular, by the reduced demand arising from hospitality and leisure industry closures. We are also aware of existing and related business concerns over debt, storage, waste and changing unit costs for supplying the public sector services which remain operational. We are grateful for recent representations to the Department on these and related matters.
We are strongly encouraging participation in the current survey in order to support our aim of keeping the situation in the wholesale sector under close review through continued evidence gathering, quantification and dialogue with the sector and its representative bodies including the Federation of Wholesale Distributors, in order that effective discussions can continue in the Wholesale Task and Finish Group and appropriate representations within government can be made as and when needs arise.
Take the survey by clicking HERE