Wholesalers have issued a plea to their hospitality customers, asking for money received through government grants to be used to settle invoices for stock delivered before the coronavirus-imposed lockdown.
Trade bodies the Federation of Wholesale Distributors, the Scottish Wholesale Association and the British Frozen Food Federation have all written open letters to the industry asking for support to ensure their members can survive to see hospitality's doors open once again.
A letter from the FWD and SWA read: "Wholesalers have received none of the grants put aside for hospitality and leisure business. Many wholesalers are extending debt to pay suppliers, so they will be still be there to supply the stock you need when the time comes to open your doors again.
"We are coming together with one message: please ensure that the financial aid coming from government moves up the supply chain. We're asking you to allocate some of that assistance you receive to paying your bills for the stock we've already delivered to you.
"The majority of our businesses are small, regional and independent, but whatever their size, all have relationships with you which go far beyond delivery. If wholesalers start to struggle, you will lose more than that relationship – you will lose the flexibility, the knowledge of your businesses, and the diversity in your supply options that wholesalers offer.
"Paying outstanding invoices for goods you have already received will allow us to pay our suppliers and keep the wheels of this industry turning.
"We want to be there to support your business when this is over, but we need the Government's assistance to flow through the industry to ensure that together we play a core role in the UK's economic recovery and growth."