The Textile Services Association (TSA) has said that commercial laundries face a "dire" situation, with 24,000 jobs on the line and little support from government.
This is compounded by ‘killer cash flow', where in March 2021, when the hospitality market starts to open up, laundries will come back on line to service the industry, but will also have costs such as wages, fuel and transport. Like most hospitality businesses, laundries will invoice at the end of month and typically be paid around 60 days later.
This, said the TSA, will be "the final nail in their coffin."
David Stevens, chief executive of the TSA, added: "Government inaction is driving the industry into the ground. We're not asking for special treatment, we just want the support that other businesses are getting. Rates relief would be a start. Amending the guidance to local authorities on discretionary grants, so that we can be included. Deferment of VAT until payback is viable. Extending the terms of government loans until we can afford to repay them and making more available during bounce back. Cash: that, in a word, is what we need."
The TSA fought to get laundries included in the government support schemes and laundries were subsequently accepted for discretionary grants from their local authority.
"Now that ‘success' feels like a kick in the teeth," said Stevens. "We're just not getting anywhere. Virtually every laundry that has applied has been turned down.
"Yet again our industry is being ignored. We are part of the hospitality sector and will not survive without support. What's it going to take to get some action? Another 24,000 people on the dole?"