With the coronavirus pandemic ongoing, the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) has called on the Government to implement a number of measures that support both individuals and businesses of all sizes in the automotive aftermarket.
After the recent announcement that positive measures will be put in place to support independent SMEs, IAAF has issued letters to a number of government departments, including the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, urging for more help for the entire automotive aftermarket supply chain.
The federation has also urged that the thousands of delivery drivers, who are vital during this difficult time, should be categorised as ‘key workers’ to enable their children to have access to day care, where available.
Williamson outlined the scale and size of the automotive aftermarket and how the crisis affected all within the supply chain including parts suppliers, distributors, garages, service centres and workshops.
As a sector the independent automotive aftermarket is worth £21.6 billion, supporting nearly 350.000 jobs representing 42,000 outlets across the UK.
Concerned about how the issues will affect the automotive aftermarket, Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive, said in the letter: “I want to stress that we have many companies and individuals who are facing significant challenges and there is more need than ever to keep drivers on the road so that infrastructure can remain as stable as possible.”
IAAF has urged the government to introduce a range of measures for both individuals and businesses including support for those working reduced hours; temporarily not working due to falling demand; support for temporary lay-offs; statutory sick pay relief; extending business rate relief to all businesses; extending the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to any business, irrespective of size; and offer scope to include delaying payment for VAT, National Insurance Contributions and PAYE.
Williamson continued: “Whilst the health and welfare of our members and their employees is always of paramount importance, we need to work together to protect the industry. The time to act is now, as we need to have the procedures in place to ensure the industry can continue to survive during the current crisis.”
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