Economic recovery plan must include convenience stores, says SGF

Pete Cheema

Scottish Grocers Federation has said that support for the convenience sector must be at the heart of Scotland’s Covid-19 economic recovery plan.

Responding to a call for evidence from the newly formed Advisory Group on Economic Recovery, the Federation said that maintaining and extending the small business bonus should be a key recommendation to the Scottish Government.

SGF Chief Executive Pete Cheema (pictured) said: “The convenience industry has shown how important it is to both the local and national economy – our 5,000 convenience stores provide 44,000 jobs and contribute £530 million to the economy in Gross Value Added.

“Two very simple, practical and achievable measures the Scottish government must include in the economic recovery plan are to commit to maintain the small business bonus and to increase the combined rateable value threshold to £50,000. In particular this will help those city centre-located stores which have suffered disproportionately from lockdown and the resulting massive loss of footfall.”

The Advisory Group on Economic Recovery has been established by the Scottish Government to provide independent expert advice on supporting the sectors and regions of Scotland’s economy to recover from the impact of Covid-19. The Advisory Group has been asked to deliver its recommendations by the end of June, in time to inform the Scottish Government’s approach to supporting Scotland’s economic recovery.

The small business bonus scheme is currently under review by the Scottish Government.