Posted: Wed 26th Aug 2020

Welsh firms call on UK Government to extend Eat Out to Help Out for another month

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Aug 26th, 2020


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Small food and drink businesses in Wales are calling on the UK Government to extend the Eat Out to Help Out scheme into next month.

More than 64 million meals have been enjoyed by diners across the UK since the launch of the discount scheme at the beginning of August.

The scheme has now entered it’s fourth and final full week but many smaller food and drink businesses in Wales were not able to open at the start of the month and weren’t able to take full advantage.

The Federation of Small businesses Wales has said extending through to September would give food and drink businesses a further boost.

Data from OpenTable shows that during Eat Out to Help Out’s third week the number of customers at UK restaurants was 61% higher than the same days last year on average for Monday to Wednesday. The average level across Monday to Wednesday in the first and second week were 12% and 41% respectively.

The data also shows that the number of customers at UK restaurants was up 17% compared to the same week in 2019.

A total of 87,000 claims have been made by many of the signed-up businesses and there have been over 34 million searches on Eat Out to Help Out’s restaurant finder from 13 million unique users.

FSB Wales Policy Chair, Ben Francis, said: “The Eat Out to Help Out scheme has been a huge success in getting people back into our Welsh high streets and 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 UK-wide one-month extension would go some way to helping many firms which are still only just about managing in this time of crisis.

Wales’ hospitality firms are only just reopening, having been given the green light to do so in early August.

Many were not able to open immediately, meaning they couldn’t take advantage of the scheme for the full month, and therefore extending the scheme during September would help those businesses really benefit from Eat Out to Help Out.

As we enter September with schools reopening and more people going back to their places of work there are still strong merits to continuing this for one more month.

Beyond September, the scheme should be reactivated in areas that have gone through local restrictions or lockdowns.

It’s vital that we continue to offer as much support as possible in areas where restrictions have been reintroduced – this would be a great way of doing just that.

As we head into the winter and New Year, UK Government should be conscious of the fact that this scheme is one that genuinely works in helping to get people out into small businesses.

The option of reintroducing it should the economy begin to stall should be front of mind.

These remain difficult times for the small business community, with the stress and strains of this crisis continuing to be felt.

That’s why we urge everyone to show support for their favourite small firms at every opportunity.

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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