BUSINESSES in Dorset’s ethnic food scene are being offered a free programme of support events to help them survive and thrive in the Covid-19 world.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is organising a series of online events aimed at restaurants, cafes and takeaways locally.

They have enlisted Bournemouth’s “curry queen” Sarah Ali Choudhury and other experts to answer questions about making a food business succeed after the lockdown.

Food businesses make up the highest percentage of ethnic minority-led small and medium sized enterprises in the UK. The federation says urgent support is needed for the sector to survive.

Sarah Ali Choudhury, an award-winning, Bournemouth-based Indian food expert and entrepreneur is also the FSB’s food policy lead.

She said: “I’m looking forward to sharing practical and business tips, signposting to useful resources and answering questions that business owners really need answered at this time.”

Arnab Dutt, the FSB’s chair for social value and inclusive growth, said: “From kebab shops to Arabic restaurants and from Indian to European food specialists, Bournemouth’s ethnic food scene not only contributes hugely to the local economy, but adds an endless vibrancy and sense of place to our lives.

“We want to offer tools, expertise and knowledge-sharing to help Bournemouth’s independent food businesses survive this challenging time and help them to develop new opportunities.

“It’s a tough time for this sector. It will take hard work, ingenuity and dedication. Some may not survive – but we’ll do all we can to try and help limit that. The sector’s social value and inclusive growth contribute to the long-term wellbeing and resilience of individuals, communities and society in general.”

The first event is on Monday, June 22, 2.15pm-3.30pm, and is about going back to business after lockdown.

On Thursday, June 25, 12.50-2pm, the theme will be making the most of your food business. And on Tuesday, June 30, 2.20-3.30pm, the subject will be maximising potential for your food business.

Details are at