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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 (NFRNOnline.com).

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!

You need to provide ALL of the below documents –  if we don’t have them all, the application cannot be sent to the C19 Hardship Committee for consideration:

  • Bank statements from Jan Feb March 2020 and the last three current settlements from the date of application
  • Any outstanding bills/invoices
  • Small Business Grant applied for /received from your local authority ? and the bank statement showing this payment if received and how much 10k or 25K
  • Any other information you may have that may help support claim
  • Has the shop been closed ? if so provide the dates
  • Short testimonial of what’s happening lack of footfall etc

Points to note

  • No more than 5 items attached per email sent in, as may be too large in that case they don’t arrive
  • All awards made by the are paid into the business bank accounts
  • The Committee will make its decision based solely on the information provided in your application form and the required supporting evidence. It is therefore important that you include as much relevant information and supporting evidence as possible so that the Committee can make an informed decision.

Screenshots scans/photographs of any relevant evidence need to be emailed to hardshipfund@nfrn.org.uk

Alternatively posted to:

C19 Hardship Fund

NFRN

East Suite

Ground Floor

Bede House

Belmont Business Park

Durham

DH1 1TW

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.”

 

 

News UK chief operating officer David Dinsmore said:

“News UK is incredibly grateful for all the work of our retailers throughout this pandemic to keep newspapers on the shelves, and in many cases starting or strengthening home news delivery services, ensuring nobody misses out on their favourite newspaper.

“We are proud to be supporting the NFRN’s hardship fund for hardworking retailers who have fallen on hard times and will continue to work with retailers to ensure we continue to serve our readers and your communities.”

Grateful thanks from recipients

Here’s what some of the recipients have had to say:

“Just to let you know I received the money in my bank account today. This will pay our rent for next month, so it’s a big help. Along with the small business grant and small business income support I feel a lot more confident we can survive this crisis now. Thanks for all your help.”

“Thank you for promptly approving a grant from The Hardship Fund to my business.

We have been in business 45 years this year and have never known times like this!

We had to close as my partner in the business was classed as high risk, and a staff member had contact with someone who had Covid 19 symptoms.  After six weeks we have opened again, and this grant will be a boost to getting back to normal and our staff back in jobs. Once again, thank you, it means so much!

“Thank you very much for the grant. It is very much appreciated and will definitely help us out during these difficult times. Thank you for taking the time to consider us and give us the award.”

“I would like to say thanks to the NFRN hardship funding team for helping me during this difficult time. Carry on supporting small businesses.”

“Due to the coronavirus, our business was struggling to pay sudden bills that piled up. Our business had to close due to medical reasons. We were struggling to find a way to pay these bills. We applied for the NFRN Hardship Fund and are extremely grateful to receive the funds to pay some of the bills. Thank you.”

“Going to phone electricity company on Monday and I am putting £500 towards it and get them to spread the balance over a few months.”

“Very happy. Thank you for all your help. It’s been very much appreciated.”

“Hi and thank you very much for your financial aid during this stressful time. We have used the money to pay off some bills we had. I hope other businesses could also get your support during this COVID-19 pandemic and thank you for all your help.”

“This Hardship Fund is really helpful to my business progress.

Don’t know how to express my thanks to you. Saying thank you is not enough but I still want to say it!”

“I do appreciate the help the NFRN has given to me. The fund was really helpful to my business at this difficult time of COVID-19.”

“In our time of need the NFRN team have been fantastic. 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. It’s reassuring to know that during these unprecedented times that small businesses like ours are still being looked after. Thank you once again.”

Hardship Fund News:

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