January 11, 2021
Up to £9,000 available to stores forced to shut by third lockdown
The vape industry has welcomed the latest support package for retail businesses shuttered by the latest national lockdown measures but called on government to give their businesses ‘essential retailer’ status.
The government has made available one-off grants of up to £9,000 to retail and hospitality businesses forced to close as part of a £4.6bn package. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “This will help businesses to get through the months ahead – and crucially it will help sustain jobs, so workers can be ready to return when they are able to reopen.”
Doug Mutter, director of VPZ vape retail chain said that he welcomed the support but would wait to hear full details before making a full judgement.
MP Mark Pawsey, who is chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Vaping told Vape Business: “This is an incredibly difficult time for businesses and for retailers in particular. The government is acutely aware of this, and with the new restrictions announced on 4 January, a new comprehensive financial support package has been put in place to support businesses and protect jobs and livelihoods.”
Pawsey called on stores to come forward and take advantage of the support: “I would strongly encourage all vape shops to ensure they secure all of the funding which has been made available to them including making use of the extended furlough scheme and discretionary funding which has been provided to local councils to distribute in their areas.”
But the MP once again backed calls to give stores the status required to stay open through the national lockdown in England: “Since the first lockdown last year I have supported the calls for vape shops to be classified as essential retailers, given the important public health role they play in helping people to quit tobacco. I will again be making representations to ministers to allow vape shops to remain open over the course of this lockdown where they are safely able to do so.”