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‘Yesterday’s announcements by the Chancellor on the latest raft of ideas to support businesses and workers have been on the whole well received and they are in these circles as well. However, there could be a missed opportunity for a large number of businesses in Cardiff to benefit from perhaps the most radical package on offer, the Eat Out to Help Out voucher scheme unless rules are changed by Welsh Government. For this to work in Wales we must have an announcement that hospitality businesses can offer customers an inside as well as outside eating option before the scheme starts on Monday 3rd August and with a reduction in the social distancing measure from 2 metres to 1 metre plus. Fewer businesses than many expected will open in Cardiff next Monday when the current rules on what businesses in the hospitality industry can do in Wales are relaxed – outdoors only and still 2 metre social distancing. What we cannot afford to happen unless the R rate rises (and safety remains vitally important) is for this rule to run into August and see customers who are only too willing to use the £10 scheme and who want to eat at participating businesses only for them not to be able to because of the lack of trading area available for them to eat within.
As well as promoting it to the public, FOR Cardiff want to look at how best to develop a campaign to encourage employees in the city to ditch their packed lunches and get out on their break and support their neighbouring businesses who offer food and do so using the Eat Out to Help Out funding. However, we need to ensure that Welsh Government don’t miss this great opportunity to ensure that such businesses have a better chance at surviving what has been a horrific time for them economically by giving our wonderful businesses enough notice to plan ahead and ensure that our food businesses make enough money to get through this.’