Retailers have called on the government and local MPs to provide them with more consistent support during the coronavirus pandemic.

During the outbreak, independent retailers took extra measures in ensuring their communities had ac­cess to essential food and drink, such as spending time searching for an alternative supply, as well as offering delivery services to reach vulnerable customers.

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Some retailers criticised the government for praising the supermarkets’ response to the coronavirus pandemic, while ignoring the efforts of independent retailers.

One retailer, who asked not to be named, said: “Hundreds wouldn’t have been fed if it wasn’t for our store, but the government hasn’t understood the role of independents. My MP isn’t great at connecting and we’ve been trying to arrange store visits, but it’s been really slow.”

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However, some retailers praised the efforts of their local MPs. Sunder Sandher, of One Stop Working with the Royals in Leamington Spa said: “My MP Matt West­ern has voiced his support against scrapping Sunday trading laws directly to me because it would affect independent retailers severely.”

Paul Cheema of Nisa Malcolm’s in Coventry add­ed: “West Midlands mayor Andy Street came to my store and said that independents were the lifeblood during this outbreak.”

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