BFBi response to the COVID-19 challenge

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A number of members have contacted me regarding support for their businesses during the CV-19 challenge.

Government states that it has “set out a £12 billion package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, individuals and businesses through the economic disruption caused by COVID-19.”  This package covers SSP refunds; 100% business rates retail discount and a one off grant of £3,000 for small businesses that already pay little or not business rates due to Small Business Rate Relief.

HOWEVER, there is little support for self employed consultants or companies outwith SBBR.

A temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is being launched but this appears to merely replace the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme.

As a first step I have written to Jane Stevensen MP, our MP local to here in Wolverhampton with the message below:

“I am Chief Executive of the Brewing, Food & Beverage Industry Suppliers’ Association, formed in 1907 to represent the entire value chain supplying the brewing and beverage industry.
 
As we are all aware, we are in unprecedented times, with the threat of CV-19.  The Government has placed, within its recent budget, support for retailers, pubs and small businesses already benefiting from small business rate relief.  However, I would like to lobby on behalf of those companies supplying food and drinks manufacturers and who do not fall within the stated support for small businesses/retail premises:
 
“The government will increase the Business Rates retail discount to 100% for one year and expand it to the leisure and hospitality sectors, and increase the planned rates discount for pubs to £5,000. Taken together with existing small business rate relief (which provides full relief for businesses using a single property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less), an estimated 900,000 properties, or 45% of all properties in England, will receive 100% business rates relief in 2020/21”
 
In order for food & drink manufacturers to make their products, they need access to their supply chain.  However, if supply chain companies do not have financial Government support, similar to that of the retail and pub sector, they will be unable to continue to deliver.
 
My membership ranges from farmers to maltsters, hop merchants, to Brewhouse engineers, packaging companies, packaging supplies companies through to cellar services, point of sale.  I have the privilege of being able to see over the entire manufacturing process of an industry and all sectors are currently experiencing the same effects of CV-19.  Many of my supply chain members are within the engineering sector where their premises are large and do not fall within the ratable value above.  Others have large turnover and very small profit margin and, again, by dint of turnover are not classified as medium business.
 
I ask that all sectors of the supply chain receive the same Government support as the retail sector.
 
If you would like me to meet with you to discuss further I am available.”

In order for me to escalate this message and start to lobby for Government support for the entire supply chain delivering into the food & drink industry I need input from the membership, which is where you come in.

If you wish me to raise your concerns, issues, challenges directly attributable to the current CV-19 situtation please email me so that I may compile a dossier of evidence.

With Kind Regards

Ruth Evans

CEO of BFBI

Siobhan Mcgonigle

Siobhan Mcgonigle

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