Rishi Sunak has been urged by small businesses to extend the Eat Out to Help Out into September, instead of the original date which is next week.
The scheme was introduced to help the many eateries hard-hit by the coronavirus lockdown, and the programme offers diners reductions on their meals and soft drinks at restaurants across the country from Monday to Wednesday, with the government footing the rest of the bill.
Mike Cherry, the chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said in a statement: ‘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.’
Whilst people return to their workplaces, Mr Cherry suggested that the extend the scheme for an extra month, adding: ‘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.
‘More than 35,000,000 meals have been cooked and dished out across almost 50,000 restaurants and cafes who have been able to reap the rewards of this great initiative, but 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.’
‘This scheme has reminded us how much we love to dine out, and in doing so, how this is helping to protect the jobs of nearly 2,000,000 people who work in hospitality.
‘I am urging everyone, where they can, to continue to safely enjoy a meal while the scheme remains open.’
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