SWA welcomes green light for wholesalers to receive grants

News that Scottish wholesalers will qualify for a Covid-19 hardship grant has been applauded by SWA.

It was confirmed by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon this week that wholesalers could claim the funding, which is offered to businesses that can remain open but are directly impacted by the new five-tier Covid restrictions coming into force in Scotland from 2 November.

Eligible businesses can claim grants of either £1,400 or £2,100 based on rateable value every four weeks and will supplement the UK government’s Job Support Scheme, which replaces the previous furlough scheme as of November.

The clarification came after South Scotland MSP Brian Whittle raised a question in a debate this week, pointing at the desperate situations many foodservice wholesalers faced without support.

And SWA Chief Executive Colin Smith has since written to Sturgeon and Finance Secretary Kate Forbes to further discuss the effect of the new restrictions on wholesale businesses north of the border.

“We certainly welcome the clarity from the First Minister that this much-needed hardship grant,” said Smith.

“Part of the Covid-19: Scotland’s Strategic Framework support will be accessible to wholesalers especially when members have already been declined, by some local authorities, the one-off hardship grant that was implemented at the start of the current ‘brake period’ to support businesses that were severely restricted but not closed.

“We also welcome First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s statement that businesses need more support and are calling on the UK Government to give additional funding to the Scottish Government for this to happen.”

Colin Smith coronavirus covid-19 Foodservice funding Nicola Sturgeon SWA wholesaler