After the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, failed to include the hospitality industry in the support packages rolled out during the third lockdown, the hospitality laundry sector has suffered an acute sense of loss.
The TSA (Textile Services Association), asserts that this is a significant snub for the laundry industry, after it has continually lobbied for support since March 2020.
The TSA has collaborated with UK Hospitality and other supply chain organisations, including the FEA (Foodservice Equipment Association), to persuade the government of the integral role of the supply chain in the hospitality industry, particularly laundries and hotels.
“Come March 2021 the hospitality laundry sector will have been through twelve months of hell,” says David Stevens, CEO of the TSA.
“We’d normally be processing 24 million pieces of hotel linen a week. Currently it’s less than 2 million. Our industry is dying and we’re getting no support. 24,000 jobs and hundreds of SMEs are under threat. I just don’t understand the government’s indifference.”
The TSA asserts that it is not asking the impossible, but only requesting the same level of help offered to other businesses across the UK.
This includes rate relief, which adjusts guidance presented to local authorities on discretionary grants in order to include commercial laundries.
In addition, deferment of VAT until payback would be ideal, achieved by government extensions of loans until laundries across the country are able to repay them in entirety.
This would also ensure that loans are more viable for businesses during these increasingly difficult circumstances.
Tony Danker, the Director-General of the CBI, concurs with the critical importance of the supply chain.
“We will be urging the government to take further steps to provide the foundations for the all-important economic recovery, particularly those affected through supply chains,” he states.
David Stevens continues: “We’d be delighted if any government minister would come and visit some of our members to see for themselves the straits they are in.”
This is deadly serious. Closures are coming. We have family businesses that have been operating successfully for over a hundred years that are about to go under. They’ve already re-mortgaged their houses, they’ve nowhere else to go.”
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