Leaders from the laundry industry, which services the hospitality sector, have revealed they feel they have been ignored by the government.
Some laundry operators have lost up to 100% of business due to the closure of hospitality venues, but the support on offer to their customers has not been extended to include them.
"It's a ludicrous situation," said David Stevens, the chief executive of the Textile Services Association (TSA), the trade body representing the UK laundry industry. "We've pushed and pushed for government and councils to recognise laundries as part of the hospitality industry, because they are integral to its survival. When the hospitality industry closes down, the hospitality laundry industry closes down. They are part and parcel of the same organism.
"What makes it even more ludicrous is that, in Scotland, laundries are recognised as part of the hospitality sector. But that's not the case in England and Wales, apparently. At least, not when they need government support.
"Rishi Sunak confirmed that event hire companies are part of the hospitality sector. If that's the case, why aren't laundries?"
Matthew Simon, director at Empire Laundry in London, commented: "We have repeatedly appealed to and been turned down by our local council. The majority of our income stopped overnight when hospitality was shut down. Why can't government accept laundries like us as ‘hospitality classified', when clearly we are exactly that?"
"The government needs to clarify and, if necessary, change the guidelines so there's no doubt," added Stevens.