Calls for support grow louder as re-opening plans revealed

Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA) boss Colin Smith has reiterated how “fundamental” wholesalers are to the re-opening of hospitality and tourism businesses.

The SWA chief executive was speaking after the Scottish Government announced its intention to to restart hospitality and tourism businesses from 15 July, but warned his members still needed financial support to fulfil their part of the supply chain.

While Smith welcomed the plans, he wanted to make it clear how important wholesalers are to them – and highlighted the gap in funding support that currently exists.

He said: “The SWA will continue to push for financial support, including business rates relief and grant funding for wholesalers – the majority of who have received no Scottish Government financial support so far.”

It’s a similar story south of the border, with FWD doing their bit to raise the issue in Westminster by getting more than 50 MPs to sign a letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak for more aid.

Although these are pressing issues, re-opening plans do provide some solace things may be heading back to normal, yet Smith can see other areas to move that on even further.

“The closure of the hospitality and tourism sectors has represented a major blow to Scotland’s wholesalers,” added Smith.

“Some of our foodservice members lost 90% of their income overnight and even now they are losing more than 60% of their turnover when they should be gearing up for a successful summer.

“However, until we know whether the Scottish Government will be relaxing the two-metre social-distancing measure there will be huge concern about the viability of the hospitality and tourism sectors and all the supply chain businesses which rely on them.”

Colin Smith coronavirus covid-19 Foodservice hospitality SWA Wholesalers