Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton, is calling on the Scottish and UK governments to provide clear help and advice for local pubs, restaurants and cafes. This follows Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement yesterday that members of the public should avoid going to pubs, restaurants, cafes and entertainment venues, like cinemas as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. These businesses are now left in limbo with rapidly declining custom and little advice and guidance.

As of yet, these businesses have not been told to shut down, which means they are apparently not eligible for insurance support. As a result, they are experiencing huge uncertainty and are unsure how they will continue to afford to pay staff wages and other costs with a significantly reduced income.

Jackie Baillie has called for the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Fair Work committee to hold a special evidence session with the Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Fair Work and Culture to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to adequately support this sector. This is likely to take place on Tuesday 24 March 2020.

Jackie Baillie said:

“Pubs, restaurants and cafes in my constituency have been put in an incredibly difficult position due to a statement issued by the Government which advises members of the public to stay at home.

“I understand that this is a worrying and unnerving time for everyone and the government’s advice was issued with the health and wellbeing of individuals in mind. However, businesses in the food and drink industry will be among the hardest hit as a result of widespread self-isolating and they deserve proper advice and support during this difficult time.

“I have secured agreement from the Scottish Parliament’s Economy Committee that the Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Fair Work and Culture will attend our next meeting to discuss solutions to the difficult economic situation businesses find themselves in as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.”

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