A new fund has been created to help hard-pressed newsagents and other small outlets during the Covid-19 crisis.
Launched by the National Federation of Independent Retailers (NFRN), the Covid-19 Hardship Fund has already received a donation of £25,000 from National Lottery organiser Camelot.
The fund has been created to alleviate some of the financial pressures that independent retailers may be facing during the coronavirus lockdown emergency.
The fund will offer financial assistance in the form of a grant to members suffering cash flow and other financial challenges due to the pandemic.
NFRN national president Stuart Reddish said: “The impact of Covid-19 on the lives and businesses of some independent retailers has been unprecedented. We are acutely aware that some members are facing significant day to day financial challenges and that the help and support that we already provide to them needs to be boosted.
“We have, therefore, created a fund to alleviate the worries that independent retailers are experiencing as footfall in their shops drop and as their bills mount.”
Welcoming the Camelot donation, Mr Reddish said: “We are incredibly grateful to our long standing friends at Camelot for recognising the importance of the independent retail sector and bolstering our ability to help even more independent retailers who through no fault of their own are in financial crisis. We would like to thank Camelot for acting so quickly and so generously in lending support.”
The NFRN will be contacting members that it believes could benefit from a hardship fund grant. Other members suffering hardship can also apply via a form on the NFRN website.
Mr Reddish added: “Applicants must be suffering significant financial hardship so we can provide help quickly to those who need it most.”