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Suppliers in the Morrisons supply chain will be paid early to support them as they deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The grocery store will move payments to help its suppliers’ cashflow whilst the industry struggles through the impact of the coronavirus.

Morrisons will also temporarily re-classify smaller suppliers from those with £100,000 of business-a-year with the company to those with £1 million of business. this will mean that an extra 1,000 small food businesses will now qualify for early payments.

David Potts, chief executive of Morrisons, said: “We are Britain’s biggest single food maker and we want to be there for the smaller food makers, farmers and businesses that supply Morrisons. We’re a British family business and we will be doing our best to support them through this challenging period.”

Environment Secretary George Eustice said: “We already have a highly-resilient food supply chain in this country and I am continuing to work closely with Morrisons and other retailers on their response to coronavirus.

“The government has pledged £30 billion in this year’s Budget for those affected and we’ve been clear that we will do whatever it takes to support people and businesses.”

The temporary payments will begin next week (Monday 23 March 2020), and these payments will last until the end of May before they are reviewed to be renewed if needed.