ON the day Aberdeen’s hospitality sector reopens following local restrictions it has been revealed four fifths of businesses (84%) would support a new Eat Out to Help Out scheme for the city.
The poll, conducted by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Scotland, also showed many operators feared they had lost between £2,000 and £50,000 by not being able to benefit from the initiative.
David Groundwater, FSB’s development manager for Aberdeen, said: “This snap poll clearly shows a majority of firms in Aberdeen are in favour of new help for the city’s eateries.
“And no wonder when the Eat Out to Help Out scheme has been a huge success across the UK, but Aberdeen locals and firms simply haven’t had an opportunity to benefit.
“Aberdonians should be allowed to have a fair crack of the whip. An extension to the Eat Out to Help Out for our city doesn’t need to come this week, or next, but it should be rolled out before the end of the year.”
Aberdeen City Council figures showed that as of 5pm yesterday, 327 premises had been assessed by Environmental Health and Trading Standards teams (EH&TS) ahead of re-opening and these continue.
The compliance check must be carried out or arranged before businesses are allowed to reopen.
Councillor Marie Boulton, convenor of the licensing board, said: “Businesses who have not had their assessment but wish to open today may do so as long as they have actively engaged with Aberdeen City Council’s Environmental Health and Trading Standards.”
Andrew McRae, FSB’s Scotland policy chair, said: “The Eat Out to Help Out scheme has been a roaring success, not only giving firms a welcome shot in the arm but also encouraging people to rediscover the brilliant local restaurants, pubs and cafes on their doorstop.
“While it is important to get help to Aberdeen, we also think it’d be great for the Chancellor to explore whether a further UK-wide extension is possible.”