SWA welcomes grants but warns more is needed

Wholesale calls for more

Colin Smith
SWA chief executive Colin Smith has called for further support for the sector

THE Scottish Wholesale Association has welcomed additional Covid-19 grant support from the Scottish Government, but warned it does not go far enough.

Scottish wholesale businesses will be eligible to apply for grants from the £40 million support package for hospitality businesses affected by the latest round of lockdown restrictions.

Following the implementation of tighter rules on hospitality, last month the Scottish Government confirmed wholesalers and producers supplying goods with a short shelf-life to hospitality businesses required to close could apply for grants of £1,000 or £1,500 per depot – dependent on the premises’ rateable value.

Colin Smith, chief executive of the SWA said: “Our working relationship with the Scottish Government has allowed us to reiterate the inextricable link our members have to the hospitality sector and led to us receiving recognition for those members who will gain access to the £40m support package announced last week.

“While both the SWA and Scottish Government recognise it’s a small amount and without further funding from the UK Government, it is a most welcome intervention.

“We are, of course, still fighting for a bigger share of the UK Government consequentials announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak earlier in the week as part of its local lockdown support package.

“The hardship fund announced for Scotland will support some businesses that remain open but are still significantly impacted by the restrictions, including those in the wholesale and direct supply chains of firms that must close. An upper limit of £10,000 will apply in total to any eligible business operating multiple premises.”