It’s to no surprise that when the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme came about, the nation went wild. Every restaurant and pub were filled to the brim with people fighting for the last plate of pie and chips. Financially, the scheme generated a massive revenue with over 100 million meal claims, so we can only call it a success in terms of boosting the economy during such a hard time. Now, retailers are calling for a similar ‘Shop Out to Help Out’ scheme to encourage consumers to spend.
There are many big retailers that are convinced that this type of Government measure to enhance sales will help independent businesses to thrive and succeed alongside the larger brands. Following the reopening of non-essential shops on April 12th, the scheme would be set to cover 50 percent of the shoppers’ costs up to £10 on Mondays and Wednesdays. This would last for a month, and would apply only to physical stores that have up to 10 staff members.
It’s inevitable that without the scheme put in place, independent businesses will face a dramatic loss of sales as the public hit the streets to head to the big stores. According to the British Retail Consortium, non-essential retailers lost roughly £22 billion under lockdown restrictions. Independent businesses were hit particularly hard with the closures of thousands despite them being the stores that were there to support the public when in need during the first legs of the pandemic.
Regardless of this being merely an idea, it’s clear that the benefits that would be seen following the implementation might be just what we need to survive the unravelling of lockdown rules and it’s a worry that without this help, independent businesses will be forgotten about. We’re yet to see whether the scheme will be discussed by the Treasury, but we hope to be updated with the news soon.