Even the Government agrees that laundries need help – but still it does nothing, according to David Stevens, CEO of the Textile Services Association (TSA), the body that represents commercial laundries in the UK. Stevens is pleading with the Government to do something about the situation right now and is warning that without aid 28,000 jobs could be lost with a massive knock on effect to the hospitality industry.
David Stevens, pictured right, is doing all he can to wake up the Government to the plight of laundries, especially those serving the hospitality sector, that are in imminent danger of going under with the potential loss of 28,000 laundry jobs and a huge knock-on effect on the slowly opening up hospitlaity industry itself.
He told LCN that everyone agrees that laundries should be on the list of businesses that can apply for rate relief. MPs agree. Cabinet officers agree. Local councils agree. But no one has done anything about it, despite the fact that much of the UK laundry industry, which employs 28,000 people, is about to go out of business.
The lockdown has seen virtually every industry that has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic receive extra support from the Government, but not laundries. Stevens warned that without the hospitality industry on stream, most of the laundry industry has been totally shut down. Many of the UK’s laundry businesses are now in such dire straits that they will go bankrupt without some sort of financial aid.
Stevens said: “I have had literally hundreds of calls with councils, rate officers, MPs, even cabinet officers, all of whom agree that our circumstances are exceptional. I’ve sent letter after letter. I’ve had meeting after meeting. All these people understand how essential we are to the hospitality industry. They know that the hospitality can’t bounce back without laundry. But they all say their hands are tied without clear Government advice.
“We have the support of trade association UK Hospitality, major hotel groups, other trade associations, MPs, and so the list goes on. In fact, nobody disagrees with us. Even the Government agrees. But nothing is done. Now it’s critical, we’re on our knees.
“The truth is, nobody seems to care about the 28,000 workers in our industry. There is a total lack of decision making within the Government, and nobody there seems to understand the processes they themselves have put in place.
“We’re not asking for help any more. We’re begging.”
The TSA has set down exactly what it needs in a simple two-point plan.
- Give the UK laundry industry business rate relief
- Recognise that effectively hospitality laundries are part of the hospitality industry – and should get the same support that it gets
“It’s frankly appalling. Stop prevaricating and procrastinating. Give us the support we need to survive,” said Stevens. “There are 28,000 jobs are on the line. We need help. Not tomorrow, not next week. We need it right now.”
The TSA is the trade association for the textile care services industry. The TSA represent commercial laundry and textile rental businesses. Membership ranges from family-run operations through to large, multi-national companies. Visit www.tsa-uk.org for more information.