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A grateful retailer has thanked the Federation of Independent Retailers (NFRN) after being one of the first members to receive financial support from the Covid-19 Hardship Fund.

She wrote:  “I would like to express my sincere gratitude and thanks to the NFRN Hardship funding team. During this difficult period for so many businesses like ours, we felt there would be no way out. However, the NFRN hardship fund has helped us far more than we thought it would.”

The retailer, who wishes to remain anonymous, added: “As with many retailers, we have seen a huge decline in footfall during this lockdown period and our income has drastically deteriorated. In our time of need the NFRN team have been fantastic. It’s reassuring to know that during these unprecedented times that small businesses like ours are still being looked after. Thank you once again.”

Responding to the email, National President Stuart Reddish said: “Our Hardship Fund was launched to assist members in real financial distress as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. It was heartening to receive a letter from one of our members detailing the way it has made such a difference to her business.”

Since launching in early April, the Fund has raised £200,000 thanks to donations from NFRN districts and branches and from NFRN trade partners.  To date, it has paid out just over £26,350 in grants.

The thanks came as media partners became the latest to lend generous financial support to the Fund.

Mail Newspapers Head of Circulation Shaun Jones said: “We recognise the great work and service independent retailers continue to provide during these unprecedented times, ensuring that UK consumers can continue to visit their local stores and buy their favourite brands.  In our case, this means that essential news remains easily accessible to people who rely on is.  We are also fully aware of the difficulties that some NFRN members are facing or will have to face over the coming months, so dmg media is pleased to support the NFRN with a donation towards the Covid-19 Hardship Fund.”

Newtrade Media’s Managing Director, Parin Gohil said: “The role of independent convenience retailers in supporting their communities has never been so important, and it’s fantastic to see the lengths that many are going to, to support their customers and those in need. However, they are also operating under extremely difficult circumstances, with thousands being forced to close temporarily due to staff shortages, family illness or a dramatic decline in footfall due to the lockdown. We are proud to support the NFRN’s hardship fund, in helping those most in need.”

Reposs Managing Director Paul Lansdale said: “These are exceptionally difficult times for independent retailers and I am pleased that Reposs is able to help support those who are most impacted by the current crisis.  The help that the NFRN’s Covid-19 Hardship Fund can provide is vital to those who are finding it difficult to sustain their livelihoods.”

Members suffering severe financial hardship for can apply for a grant via the made via the NFRN website,


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