With just one day left for food and drinks businesses to offer discounts under the ‘eat out to help out' scheme, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is calling for an extension to the end of September.

This comes as official figures show restaurants have claimed more than 64 million discounted meals as of 23 August.

Mike Cherry, chairman of the FSB, said the scheme had been "welcomed by small businesses and their customers alike", but said it should continue for an extra month across the UK.

Beyond September, he added that it should be reactivated in areas that have been through local lockdowns or restrictions.

The eat out to help out scheme, which is set to close on 31 August, offers 50% discounts on food and soft drinks from Monday to Wednesday each week, up to £10 per person.

Businesses registered for the scheme can claim back the discounted amount from the Government.

Cherry said:

"The eat out to help out scheme has been an overwhelming success in getting people back on their high streets and in their town centres.

"We now need to see it extended to continue the critical support that it is providing for small firms as we enter a period of economic make or break."

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