The NFRN Covid-19 Hardship Fund has been created to alleviate some of the financial pressures that independent retailers may be facing.

It will offer financial assistance in the form of a grant to members suffering cash flow and other financial challenges through the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Announcing its launch, National President Stuart Reddish said:

“The impact of Covid-19 on the lives and businesses of some independent retailers has been unprecedented. We are acutely aware that some members are facing significant day to day financial challenges and that the help and support that we already provide to them needs to be boosted.

“We have, therefore, created a fund to alleviate the worries that independent retailers are experiencing as footfall in their shops drop and as their bills mount.”

The NFRN has identified and will be contacting members that it believes could benefit from a hardship fund grant. Other members suffering hardship can also apply via a form on the NFRN website (

Mr Reddish added:

“Applicants must be suffering significant financial hardship so we can provide help quickly to those who need it most.”

A small team of officials, led by NFRN Vice President Muntazir Dipoti, have been mobilised to consider the applications.

The Federation, its districts and branches, and retail partners are all contributing generously to this fund.

Terms & Conditions

Application Form

Don’t forget to send your application supporting documents and information as claims cannot be processed with out these!

Please note: The below supporting information must be provided along with your completed application form to enable the C19 Hardship Fund Committee to consider your claim:

  • Small Business Grant applied for/received from your local authority Y/N
  • Business Bank statements from Jan to date ( inc statements with the payment from the local authority if already received )
  • Any outstanding bills/invoices
  • Any other information you may have that may help support claim

You can send scans, screenshots or photos of these as well as your  application form by email as attachments  to:

Support We Have Received:


Booker Managing Director – Retail Colm Johnson said:

“It is crucial that support is available for independent retailers, who are at the heart of the communities they are serving during these challenging times. This is why we have contributed to the NFRN hardship fund and I would urge retailers who need help to get in touch.”




Camelot retail director Jenny Blogg said:

“As the coronavirus crisis continues, I also want to thank them for the support they have shown to Camelot, The National Lottery and the Good Causes it supports. This funding has never been more crucial than it is now, as we help the country respond to the Covid-19 crisis. For example, The National Lottery Community Fund will support vulnerable communities with up to £300million of funding.

“My team and I fully appreciate that the key priorities for independent retailers at this time are the well-being of staff and a safe environment for customers. To offer our support and appreciation, we are proud to contribute £25,000 towards the NFRN Covid-19 Hardship Fund.”





Coca-Cola European Partners GB Vice President Sales Rob Harris said:

“The coronavirus outbreak has brought unprecedented challenges for the independent retail community. Despite many being under significant financial pressure, independent retailers are taking their role as key workers incredibly seriously, providing a lifeline for local people and once again demonstrating their importance at the heart of every community.”





JTI UK’s Sales Vice President Ross Hennessy said:

“Covid-19 is having an unprecedented impact on independent retailers and JTI is proud to be supporting them during these challenging times. Independent retailers play an important role in communities across the UK, now more than ever and the NFRN’s Covid-19 Hardship Fund will help many continue to do so.”




Warburtons Sales director Colin Bebbington said:

“In these challenging times it’s important that we pull together and support each other as an industry. The Hardship Fund that the NFRN has set up for independent retailers is a great example of what we should be doing, and Warburtons is pleased that we can play our part by supporting it.”




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.”




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.”




JPI Media Head of Content Tina Evans said:

“The coronavirus outbreak has put our retail partners under immense pressure at a crucial moment when our readers rely on quality news. JPI Media recognises the importance of the local newsagents and thanks members for their ongoing support of our titles and their role in serving our local communities.”




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.”




Just Employment Law Managing Director David McRae said:

“As a long standing business partner of the NFRN, Just Employment Law has first-hand knowledge of the support the Federation extends to its members and that will be no more apparent  than during these troubled times.

“When we learned of the Covid-19 Hardship Fund being established we had little hesitation in pledging our support for such a worthy cause aimed at helping member retailers in their time of need. It’s the least we could do. We value our relationship with the NFRN and admire its efforts on behalf of its members at this time.”

Hardship Fund News:

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