Impact of COVID-19 on the Furniture and Furnishings Industry
On 30 April 2020, the All-Party Parliamentary Furniture Industry Group (APPFIG) hosted an oral evidence session as part of its ‘Inquiry into the Impact of COVID-19 on the Furniture and Furnishings Industry’. The evidence provided to the Inquiry has since informed the Report (available below) and the recent lobbying efforts of the British Furniture Confederation (BFC) and the Members of Parliament who took part in the Inquiry.
The Inquiry heard from a range of witnesses from across the furniture and furnishings industry who told the MPs present about the challenges their businesses faced. There were businesses from the hospitality, retail, design, corporate and domestic furniture and furnishing sectors all of whom offered valuable insight. The businesses highlighted issues with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), accessing Government and public sector procurement contracts, the availability of trade credit insurance, the lack of clarity surrounding Government communications and the importance of extending the Business Rates holiday,
Subsequent to the Inquiry’s Oral Evidence session, and following efforts from the BFC and the APPFIG members Mike Wood MP and Mark Eastwood MP, the Government has announced the extension of the CJRS to October, the introduction of greater flexibility to the Scheme and additional support to aide businesses in accessing trade credit insurance. Furthermore, on 27 April 2020, the Government introduced the Business Bounce Back Loans in response to some of the criticism levelled at the CBILS.
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