TSA - Open Letter to the Government - Textile Care Hospitality Industry
15 April 2020
For the attention of
I am writing this additional open letter as the Chief Executive of the Textile Services Association (TSA), the trade association for the industrial and commercial laundry industry.
We represent over 29,000 employees of which 24,000 have been furloughed, as per our most recent industry survey. We are extremely appreciative of the Job Retention Scheme and congratulate the government on its implementation. However, as the numbers suggest, we are an industry in crisis. The survey also discovered that over 50% of our members have received no additional government aid and 70% do not expect to survive the next 90 days without support. This would be catastrophic for the hotels and restaurants sector who depend on our industry to supply them with the clean towels, bed and table linen they need every day, over 15m pieces a week! They cannot reopen without us.
We are conscious we are not alone in this business landscape to be lobbying for further support. However, we do believe our industry should be treated fairly; we have identified two key messages as follows that could be the difference between many in our industry surviving or not.
Hospitality Grant (Small Business Grant Fund) and Business Rate relief 2020-2021
When our members’ business is totally dependent on the hospitality sector, why are laundries not included within this sector enabling some to benefit from the SBGF and all to benefit from the business rates relief? Our members in Scotland have been rightly given access to this support and laundry is clearly identified as a benefactor. When restaurants, hotels, pubs and leisure clubs were shut, so were hospitality laundries. I believe this is an oversight which could easily be put right and provide some breathing space for our industry enabling and motivating more of our member companies to continue to fight to come out the other side.
We need assurance that the furlough scheme (CJRS) will be maintained during the ramp back up, post lock down. As a service provider, our factories will only return at the rate the hospitality industry picks up. This will be the most critical time for many laundries, as they will need to be open for business but with exceptionally low volumes to begin with. They will need ongoing financial support for as long as the ramp up takes. The key point here will be a more flexible approach to the furlough rules around the ability to phase the staff back into their jobs during the ramp up period.
I have deliberately kept this letter short and to the point but unless there is a more strategic approach to support the businesses - not just the employees- there will be no businesses left to re-employ the thousands of furloughed workers.
Textile Services Association
Championing the Textile Services Industry
Update from the TSA Chief Executive - 7th September 2020
It has been a few weeks since the last update, hopefully some of you will have been able to get away and have had a well-deserved break.
Update from the TSA Chief Executive - 4th August 2020
I have just spoken with an Economist journalist who has been tasked with updating their global report for our industry! I really struggled to answer so many of his questions as we really do not understand the full impact of the pandemic yet and there is still no end game in sight.
Update from the TSA Chief Executive - 16th July 2020
We are definitely starting to get a feeling that the worst is behind us and at least we are starting to discuss doing laundry again.