A fund created to help newsagents hard-hit during the Covid-19 crisis has topped the £235,000 mark thanks to an ‘impressive’ donation from News UK.
The Federation of Independent Retailers (NFRN) created the Hardship Fund to help members who are facing severe hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Since its launch in April, the Hardship Fund has helped nearly 70 independent retailers and paid out £100,000, reports
News UK Chief Operating Officer David Dinsmore was reported in In-Publishing commenting: “News UK is incredibly grateful for all the work of our retailers throughout this pandemic to keep newspapers on the shelves, and in many cases starting or strengthening home news delivery services, ensuring nobody misses out on their favourite newspaper.
“We are proud to be supporting the NFRN’s hardship fund for hardworking retailers who have fallen on hard times and will continue to work with retailers to ensure we continue to serve our readers and your communities.”
NFRN’s National President Stuart Reddish said: “I am so pleased that News UK has decided to back our Covid-19 Hardship Fund.
“Independent retailers need our help now more than ever, and it’s great to see that so many companies have come together to support them.”
The NFRN Covid-19 Hardship Fund has been created to alleviate some of the financial pressures that independent retailers may be facing.
It will offer financial assistance in the form of a grant to members suffering cash flow and other financial challenges through the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Announcing its launch, 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.”
The NFRN has identified and 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 (NFRNOnline.com).
This week NFRN members should have assembled in Bournemouth for the Federation’s 2020 Annual Conference but the event was cancelled due to the Covid-19 crisis.
National President Stuart Reddish commenting at the time:
“This was not a decision that we took lightly, but it was the responsible course of action to protect members, staff and our business partners.”
With the absence of elections for senior officials, Mr Reddish remains as National President for another year.
In a video he addressed members on the Federation’s successes over the past 12 months before looking to the future.