Autumn Statement

ALMR: Government must support ‘struggling’ businesses

By Sara Hussein

- Last updated on GMT

ALMR: Government should support "struggling" businesses
ALMR: Government should support "struggling" businesses

Related tags Executive kate nicholls National living wage Public house Business

The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has criticised the lack of support for “struggling” businesses in yesterday’s Autumn Statement (Wednesday 23 November).

The ALMR “welcomed” the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s move to help families who were “just about managing”, but claimed that a similar support should be “extended” to business in the same position. 

ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “Pubs, bars and restaurants are valuable employers and important social hubs, yet many of these crucial businesses are just about managing, due to increasing costs.”

‘Economic instability’

The chancellor also announced the national living wage would rise from £7.20 to £7.50 in April 2017 and a slight reduction in business rates bills will also be applied.

But Nicholls claimed these changes have come at a time of “economic instability” which pubs could “barely afford”.  

She added: “If pubs and bars are not able to trade their way out of difficulty these wage increases, coupled with continually rising property costs, could hurt businesses.”

“The Government has stated that it is committed to helping families struggling to cover costs, but it must do the same for some of our businesses.”

Industry ‘deserves further support’

The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) managing director Mike Benner also hoped to see more support with business rates bills.  

He said: “The industry supports almost one million British jobs and deserves further help to enable it to continue to bring pleasure to millions of people."

SIBA and other trades bodies — the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) and the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) — have “welcomed” the decision not to raise beer tax. 

However, they claimed the levy remained a main “concern” for the industry and called for “further cuts” to the tax in the 2017 Budget.

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