Four-fifths of businesses in Aberdeen would support an Eat Out to Help Out scheme for the city, according to a poll.
It comes as the hospitality sector in the city reopens after local lockdown restrictions imposed to fight a coronavirus cluster were lifted after three weeks.
The Eat Out to Help Out initiative, which sees the cost of eat-in meals reduced for three days a week, began earlier this month and is due to finish at the end of August.
More than 64 million meals have now been claimed by diners since the UK Government launched the scheme.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Scotland surveyed around 50 Aberdeen traders and found 84% would support an extension to the scheme in the city.
FSB members said they have lost between £2,000 and £50,000 by not being able to benefit from the initiative.
The organisation is now lobbying for a local version to be introduced for the city.
An online petition supporting such a move has been signed more than 3,700 times.
‘The Eat Out to Help Out scheme has been a huge success across the UK, but Aberdeen locals and firms simply haven’t had an opportunity to benefit.’David Groundwater, FSB’s development manager for Aberdeen
David Groundwater, FSB’s development manager for Aberdeen, said: “This snap poll clearly shows a majority of firms in Aberdeen are in favour of new help for the city’s eateries.
“And no wonder, when the Eat Out to Help Out scheme has been a huge success across the UK, but Aberdeen locals and firms simply haven’t had an opportunity to benefit.
“Aberdonians should be allowed to have a fair crack of the whip.
“An extension to the Eat Out to Help Out for our city doesn’t need to come this week, or next, but it should be rolled out before the end of the year.”
Restaurants, bars and cafes in Aberdeen reopened on Wednesday after being assessed by the local authority’s Environmental Health and Trading Standards teams.
As of Tuesday, 327 premises had been assessed.
Aberdeen City councillor Marie Boulton said: “I would like to express my thanks and appreciation of the dedication and hard work of the city’s Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers who have been working tirelessly over very long hours, while local restrictions have been in place to do all that they could to help businesses in the hospitality sector get ready for reopening.”
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