Food: Wholesale Trade

Treasury written question – answered on 12th June 2020.

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Photo of Bob Blackman Bob Blackman Conservative, Harrow East

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will extend the application of the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund to the wholesale food and drink sector.

Photo of Kemi Badenoch Kemi Badenoch The Exchequer Secretary, Minister for Equalities

The Government recognises that this is a very challenging time for businesses in a wide variety of sectors. Small businesses occupying properties for retail, hospitality or leisure purposes are likely to be particularly affected by COVID-19 due to their reliance on customer footfall, and the fact that they are less likely than larger businesses to have sufficient cash reserves to meet their high fixed property-related costs. The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) is intended to help small businesses in this situation.

Local Authorities (LAs) can choose to make discretionary grants to businesses in other supply chains, like the wholesale food and drink sector, if they feel there is a particular local economic need. The Government has allocated up to an additional £617 million to LAs to enable them to give discretionary grants to businesses in this situation. LAs may choose to focus payments on those priority groups which are most relevant to their local areas or to businesses outside of these priority groups, so long as the business was trading on 11th March, and has not received any other cash grant funded by central Government.

Small businesses which are not eligible for business grants should still be able to benefit from other elements of the Government’s unprecedented package of support for business. The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply - https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder.

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