Siobhain McDonagh is encouraging residents to support small businesses as part of the government's Eat out to help out scheme.

Eat out to help out aims to encourage people across the UK to venture out to restaurants and cafés to help support the hospitality sector following the national coronavirus lockdown.

Every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday between August 3 and 31, participating restaurants will offer 50 per cent off food and non-alcoholic drinks up to a total value of £10 per person.

Today, the Office for National Statistics published figures of the hospitality sector during the pandemic.

The report states: "All components of food and beverage services fell in April, though there was less impact on takeaways.

"Since April, pubs and bars have remained at a very low level, however restaurants and takeaways have demonstrated growth, though remain well below their February 2020 levels.

"Pubs and bars continued to suffer in June 2020, unlike restaurants and takeaways which continued to recover."

Siobhain McDonagh recently visited independent businesses to speak about the scheme.

She said: "Small independent businesses like restaurants, bars and cafés in Mitcham and Morden have taken a real hit in recent months. Without customers, there is no business!

"I think the scheme is a good idea and it seems to be working. Lots of the cafés and pubs are telling me that they are doing much better as a result of it.

"My concern was whether the smaller businesses would take part or be signed up to the scheme which was my reason for going around all of our local cafés with information so that they too can benefit.

"A number of businesses had heard or thought about it but hadn’t registered. All were interested in taking part."