In just three months Northern Ireland’s takeaway industry has seen more than 100 businesses close and hundreds lose jobs, according to the Takeaway Association.
Chief Executive of the trade body, Michael Henderson said the losses from July of this year were due to the tidal wave of increased costs ranging from Energy bills, food costs, VAT increase and reintroduction of the highest business rates in the UK.
"The latest unemployment raise is a stark reminder of the issues facing our small businesses during this cost of doing business crisis,” he explained.
“We outlined in February that our industry was in crisis and support was needed to help save small businesses.
“Unfortunately these warnings were ignored, and this has led us to the devastating amount of closures we see today.
“The loss of 100+ takeaways/cafes in recent months adds more pressure on the cost-of-living crisis for the employees recently made redundant.”
Mr Henderson said his organisation is being contacted by distressed people.
“We are receiving heartbreaking calls every day from business owners across all backgrounds who are struggling and fighting to hold on to their business which they have worked tirelessly to create.”
The Takeaway Association believes that there is an urgent need for support as the industry stares into an abyss with more closures to come.
“As we enter probably the toughest winter in our lifetime, without urgent intervention from the government I fear the takeaway sector will be further decimated and we will be looking at additional 100 closures come January,” said Mr Henderson.
“I'm calling on the Northern Ireland Executive and UK Government to provide emergency support urgently.
“We need clarity on the energy support package for Northern Ireland Businesses, Reduction on VAT and Business rates relief."
Northern Ireland Takeaway Association alongside Retail NI, Hospitality Ulster & Chambers of Commerce have published a cost of doing business action plan to the Northern Ireland Executive and UK Government outlining what support is needed for the tens of thousands of businesses we represent in Northern Ireland.
Mr Henderson said that any business owner can get in touch with the organisation for support.
Takeaway/cafe owners who are struggling and wish to reach out to Northern Ireland Takeaway Association should call 07425846533 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.