AVA chief executive David Llewellyn

The Automatic Vending Association is disappointed to see that minimal Additional Restrictions Grants (ARG) are being awarded when jobs are being lost due to the pandemic and members could be aided with these grants.

AVA chief executive David Llewellyn said: “Since the start of the pandemic the food-to-go industry has provided a lifeline to those key workers on the front line of fighting COVID-19. Despite this and repeated calls for assistance to a sector facing up to one in five job losses, we were disappointed to see the latest figures released by the Government show that our members are still struggling to access support funding allocated to assist them.

“While in some areas the latest figures on ARG Grants have shown improvement, it is obvious there is a long way to go to get this support to those who urgently need it. Particular local authorities such as the London Borough of Camden, Exeter City Council and Leeds City Council continue to award just minimal sums to those requesting assistance despite repeated calls for help.

“We recognise that we are a long way from the end of this pandemic however if businesses in these areas do not get the support they need now, they simply will not be around when life goes back to normal. It’s for this reason that we are calling on local authorities to review the way they assess support grants and take action now to save an industry worth more than £21 billion and employing 25,000 people.”

(+)