Quarter of hospitality venues believe they could fail in three months

New findings from the British Beer & Pub Association and other hospitality industry bodies show that almost a quarter of their members believe their businesses could fail in the next three months without support.

Following a survey by the BBPA, UKHospitality and the British Institute of Innkeeping, 23% of their members said that they stood a high chance of closing up shop before the end of the year without further government support, and this was before the recent imposition of a 10pm curfew for the on-trade introduced this week.

Other sectors of the on-trade have already expressed their frustration at the recent measures and warned there would be further closures and job losses.

The survey also found that one in eight hospitality staff have been made redundant and further jobs will be lost when the furlough scheme ends this October.

Those businesses surveyed predicted their workforces would be 25% lower by February 2021 compared to February this year – a loss of 675,000 jobs.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “This research shows pub businesses were already teetering on the edge. Now the Prime Minister has announced even more restrictions for them, it is clear much more support will be needed from the Government to ensure they survive.

“An immediate stimulus package is required for our sector in the form of an extension to the furlough scheme and business rates relief, plus continuation of the VAT cut to food and soft drinks and a significant cut to the UK’s excessively high beer duty.

“Only by taking these measures can the Government save our pubs, hospitality businesses and as many as 540,000 jobs. If the Government doesn’t act now it would be unforgivable.”

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, added: “The future of the sector is still very much in the balance. Many venues have still have not reopened and those that have are operating at reduced capacity and a fraction of normal revenue. We have already had some high-profile casualties and far too many job losses.

“The additional restrictions announced this week place even further burdens on a sector that is operating with razor-thin margins and needs all the help it can get. It is vital that these restrictions are reviewed regularly.

“We need comprehensive financial support so that those businesses that survive the winter can begin to rebuild next year, starting with a package of measures to support short time working. The VAT cut for hospitality must be extended through 2021, as must the business rates holiday. We also need the government to step in now and help to deal with the rent debt that has built up over months of enforced lockdown.”

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