A DONUT shop owner has said he is deeply concerned after being turned down for a support grant, despite lockdown severely impacting trade.

Yusaf Lambat, from Blackburn, owns the DIPZ donut shop on Plane Street, which opened in January 2020 just before the pandemic hit, along with Melt Lab wholesaler, also in Blackburn, both of which have been devastate by the impact of lockdown.

However, despite the hardships the businesses have faced, Mr Lambat was shocked when he was turned down both for a business support grant as well as a discretionary grant and is worried that not only his own, but many other firms across the borough could be in danger.

He said: “I'm only looking for some support to help us through these difficult times.

“We are a family business and it's our hard earned savings we put into it.

“Otherwise, we may have to close down and fall into heavy debts.

“I have two kids to look after and one on the way, financially we can't cope.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

DIPZ Donuts is currently only available for takeaways

Mr Lambat’s Melt Lab business works to manufacture doughnuts, ice cream and other confectionery to supply his shop.

However due to the pandemic he has not been getting additional customers, while DIPZ is only available for takeaways, severely limiting trade.

Mr Lambat said: “I’m only supplying to my own shop and it’s not enough to sustain the business.

“I've had no businesses to buy from us because they are either closed or shut down.

“I'm really struggling with that, I have overheads too.”

In response Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council however have said that with only limited funds, they have no choice but to prioritise which firms they support.

A spokesperson said: “Mr Lambat’s application for discretionary support for DIPZ Donuts was not successful due to its classification as a takeaway which has still been able to trade during the restrictions.

“It has been necessary for the Council to prioritise support for those businesses most affected by the pandemic, including those required to close by law.

“However, we are aware that Mr Lambat has submitted further applications to the discretionary grant scheme and these are currently being assessed, along with all other remaining applications.

"We would like to thank businesses again for their patience during this difficult period.”

However, Mr Lambat has also raised the issue with Blackburn MP Kate Hollern who has agreed that more needs to be done to support businesses that have been hit hard by the crisis.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Kate Hollern MP

She said: “Despite numerous pleas to the government to support businesses in Blackburn, far too many of them have been let down by the government and fallen through the net.

“Businesses have been excluded from financial support all together or strict criteria has rendered them ineligible, which has left many with no option but to close their doors and will increase unemployment and choke off local recovery.”