Commenting on the Chancellor’s announcement of a ‘winter economy plan’, James Clark, Director of Policy and Communications at the HTA said:  

“The HTA broadly welcomes today’s announcement by the Chancellor of Exchequer. We have been calling for the CBILS repayment terms to be extended to 10 years to make the scheme affordable, particularly for growers and we are pleased that the Chancellor has now done so. 

“A commitment to keeping VAT in hospitality to 5% until March 2021 will help support the £300m garden centre catering industry, which is down 45% at the same point last year. The flexibility on Bounce Back Loan repayments, tax deferrals and the Job Support Scheme will all contribute to the sectors recovery.  

“The message we are communicating to Government is that as we look towards Christmas - the second busiest time of year for garden centres – the most effective way to protect jobs throughout the horticultural supply chain is to keep garden centres open in the event of further lockdown restrictions. As grower planting regimes are year-round business planning operations and need confidence of a future route to market, this time of year is key for the sector as planning for the 2021 season takes place with retailers placing pre-orders with growers.” 

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