Farm House (British/Indian) Coventry Halal restaurant FARMHOUSE

Curry houses ‘will be bankrupt in days’, UK Chancellor warned

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Farm House (British/Indian) Coventry Halal restaurant FARMHOUSE

The British Bangladeshi Catering Association (BBCA) has warned the government that a failure to act now will see curry houses “most likely be bankrupt within days”.

Writing to Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, BBCA President Salim Chowdhury has said that while the Tory’s were “committed towards helping the curry industry… this help needs to be immediate”.

While Mr Chowdhury welcomed the Chancellor’s move to abolish business rates, he believed “the curry industry will struggle to survive” Covid-19’s “catastrophic effect on the economy”.

He also questioned the viability of making available Business Interruption Loans asking: “How does a business with no income make loan repayments?”

The BBCA President further probed: “With the recent drop in footfall, many restaurants have already run out of money. How are they to pay their utilities, rents, staff and bills?”

The letter was urging Mr Sunak to respond with “details of [the] much needed government intervention which will help this already haemorrhaged industry survive”.

The reality is that some restaurants do not have weeks and months but will most likely be bankrupt within days! – Salim Chowdhury, BBCA President

Mr Chowdhury reminded: “Our industry cannot rely on someone logging on from somewhere remotely whilst maintaining social distancing. Instead, we rely on the public physically walking through our doors each night.”

With “an industry that was already struggling with escalating costs”, the industry is urgently seeking details on “exactly how and when” HMRC would help these businesses.

“This help needs to be immediate as the reality is that some restaurants do not have weeks and months but will most likely be bankrupt within days!” he warned.

The President of BBCA, a body that represents Bangladeshi-owned restaurants and takeaways, said: “Sadly, the hospitality sector and particularly the curry industry is similarly vulnerable and likely to see significant casualties.”

The government announced yesterday that measures will soon be introduced granting pubs and restaurants permission to operate as hot food takeaways during the coronavirus outbreak.

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