We’ve covered in the past how the scheme, which, on paper, seems like a sensible system, can have unintended and harmful outcomes for the sector.
For some, the ACV represents a chance to thwart the ambitions of big nasty developers, seeking to take away the beloved local in preference for yet another supermarket. While this line plays well in certain quarters, its rather simplistic overview fails to acknowledge that, in many cases, the reason the beloved local is at risk from said rapacious developers is because the community that so values the local asset hasn’t bought a pint from it in years.
In some cases, simply slapping an ACV onto a dying business either prolongs the inevitable, or ends up with a boarded-up building slowly crumbling on the high street while the ‘community’ enthusiasm wilts on the vine.
The problem with the delays in Westminster simply helps to create further uncertainty in an already unclear situation — and uncertainty, in my experience, is never a great thing to have in business.
As one publican is already warning off others from buying in London, the concern is that uncertainty will lead to more pubs falling by the wayside, and that’s unacceptable.
Meanwhile as you can see in this issue, we’re launching the 2015 Great British Pub Awards (GBPA) and it’s certainly something I’m looking forward to getting involved with when it comes to the judging.
Pubs are the backbone of most communities, coming in a range of flavours and providing a huge number of services for all. However, as with most things that become part of the fabric of life, we can often overlook how important they are.
Awards like the GBPA are an opportunity to give your communities the chance to take a step back and re-evaluate the jewels that lie within.
To discover that your nearest pub is not just a great local, but is actually one of the best in the region, if not the country, well... that gives some bragging rights!
So awards are important — they are a great way to engage with your existing customers and an even better way to engage with some new ones as well, as the news of your success spreads far and wide. They are also a great way to reward your staff — it gives them recognition for all the hard work and dedication they have displayed.
But awards have to mean something, and that’s what so great about the GBPA — a rigorous and robust judging process means finalists and winners can hold their heads high and know that they are at the very top of their game.
So, one thing I would urge all of you to do, is turn to page 32 and take a look at some of the benefits the awards have given to our previous winners, and if you haven’t already thought about entering the competition, why not do so now? You’ve got to be in it to win it, and the results speak for themselves.