We have written to the chancellor to ask for support as charity shops find themselves in an unprecedentedly precarious position due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Many shops rely on volunteers, a high proportion of whom are quite elderly and who are understandably reluctant to move from their houses given the Government’s recent restrictions.
In addition, footfall on the High Street is significantly down due to social distancing restrictions and this will clearly have a dramatic adverse impact on sales and productivity generally. In response to this a number of charity shops are having to close their shops or substantially reduce their opening hours, and major announcements will be forthcoming in this area over the next few days.
Robin Osterley, Chief Executive of the CRA says “we have asked for government assistance to ensure that the sector can rebuild after the virus outbreak ends specifically in the form of grant funding and loans, rents and rates relief and increased funding for the wider charity sector.
“The knock-on effect of impoverishing charities is all the more significant because of the vulnerable nature of charities’ beneficiaries. If this kind of support is not forthcoming the government itself will be forced to pick up substantially greater financial costs to support the most vulnerable of our society, many of whom will no doubt in the meantime suffer most acutely. We therefore urge the government to make these kinds of support available in days rather than weeks.”
You can read our letter here.