Small firms have urged the government to extend its Eat Out to Help Out scheme. Extention will continue helping thousands of small food and drink businesses across the UK.
The Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the scheme in the Summer Economic Update. So, the government started it at the beginning of August. It is going to end on 31 August.
Eat Out to Help Out provides a 50% reduction for sit-down meals in participating food businesses. That includes cafes, restaurants and pubs across the UK from Monday to Wednesday. So far, more than 64 million people have claimed meals since the launch of the scheme.
Eat Out to Help Out is a hugely popular government scheme. However, despite its popularity, it doesn’t look like the scheme is set to be extended.
According to Birmingham Live, a Treasury spokesman said: “Part of this popularity is precisely because it is a time-limited scheme – this reminds and encourages people to safely return to going out.”
It said the scheme “complements a wider package of hospitality support that goes beyond August, including cutting VAT to 5%, paying the wages of furloughed staff, business rates relief and billions in tax deferrals and loans”.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)’s national chair Mike Cherry wants the scheme to continue.
Commenting on the issue, he said:
‘The Eat Out to Help Out scheme has been an overwhelming success in getting people back on their high streets and in their town centres.’
‘We now need to see it extended to continue the critical support that it is providing for small firms as we enter a period of economic make or break.’
‘Over the past few weeks, the scheme has been hugely welcomed by small businesses and their customers alike.’
‘A nationwide one-month extension would go some way to helping many firms which are still only just about managing in this time of crisis.’
Mr Cherry further said: “We must do all we can to safeguard the futures of the small firms that make up 99% of our small business community. They will be pivotal to our recovery from this recession.”
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