Just before Christmas the Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA) wrote an open letter to the prime minister calling for extra help for the foodservice supply chain.
The letter cites the implementation of increasing Covid-19 measures is "adding significantly to the pressure on the foodservice equipment supply chain, because hospitality operator outlets have been forced to close."
The letter, which was signed by FEA chief executive Keith Warren, calls for targeted, immediate and continued support for the foodservice equipment sector. It points out that FEA members are wholly dependent on the operator sector for their business and that any recovery is unlikely to be evident until Q3 2021.
For businesses wholly or significantly dependent on hospitality operators, FEA calls for direct financial support to cover the following costs until the 30 September 2021:
- Business rates to be cancelled through council subsidy;
- Contracted rental costs to be covered by government grants;
- VAT deferral to ease business cash flow;
- Furlough scheme extension to prevent the loss of experience, knowledge and skilled jobs.
"Announcement of such support will give security to foodservice equipment supply companies, and will ensure business viability and long-term sustainability," said Warren.
"In return for this investment, our sector will be able to ensure that it is well-positioned to be able to respond to the needs of the operator sector when the recovery inevitably commences, hopefully in Q3/Q4 2021."