Ibrahim Dogus, chair of the British Takeaway Campaign, has welcomed the chancellor’s latest measures to support businesses and workers, but said that a rent holiday is also required. On Friday, Rishi Sunak launched the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which will provide government grants covering 80% of the salary of retained workers, up to a total of £2,500 per-person per-month. The figure is just above the median income. Employers will also have the option to top up salaries if they choose to. Food outlets were also ordered to close, but were encouraged to carry on providing takeaway services.
Dogus said: “The chancellor’s latest measures will offer many businesses in the hospitality sector much needed help to support their workers. Given the prime minister himself has now acknowledged how important takeaways will be in keeping the nation fed in the coming weeks, it cannot be overstated how critical access to cash is at this moment.
“Hurtling down the tracks, though, is another huge cash pressure for many hospitality businesses, in the form of quarterly rent obligations – and many of these are due on Friday. Restaurant owners simply do not have the capital to meet these payments.
“The prime minister has asked business owners to put people first. We will do this but we need landlords to also put people first. Landlords must grant tenants an immediate three-month rent holiday. If they do not, government should be intervening to help the UK’s takeaways and restaurants survive and keep protecting workers’ livelihoods.”