The letter, which has been published in today's issue of The Telegraph (22 February), describes pubs and restaurants as the original social network, yet the only business sector facing huge business rate rises nationwide.
It adds: “We know that the Government will earn £1bn more from business rates after April – with half of this coming from eating and drinking businesses – and that it will subsidise tax cuts for online businesses.
“The Government’s recent industrial strategy aims to help businesses start and flourish throughout the country, rebalancing growth across the regions; yet the increases in pub and restaurant business rates undermine that strategy before it is even implemented.
“Our sector is truly regional and is particularly well-placed to provide national growth, create jobs and boost regeneration around Britain.”
Sector's worth to the economy
The letter outlines what the sector is worth to the UK economy in financial terms and providing jobs.
It added: “Eating and drinking out is worth £60bn, directly employing 1.5m people and 80% of the sector consists of small and medium-sized enterprises.
“We already contribute more than £18bn in taxes and bear a disproportionate business rate burden.
“The proposed changes will increase that disparity by £500m, hitting jobs and halting investment.
“Job creation through strategic growth is the catalyst for an ‘economy that works for everyone’.”
Support instead of penalise
It has also urged the Government to support the trade rather than penalise its success through a rise in business rates.
“Immediate rate relief for pubs and restaurants – similar to the £60m recently granted to broadband suppliers – would deliver tangible assistance at this critical time and send a positive message to the industry,” it concludes.
The letter has been signed by:
- Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers chairman Steve Richards
- Mitchells & Butlers chairman Bob Ivell
- Punch chief executive Duncan Garrood
- Oakman Inns chief executive Peter Borg-Neal
- Amber Taverns managing director James Baer
- Beds & Bars chief executive Keith Knowles
- All Our Bars director Paul Wigham
- Golden Lion managing director Dave Day
- ETM Group managing director Ed Martin
- Ascot Inns managing director Vincent Healy
- Snug Bars managing director Giles Fry
- Anglian Country Inns managing director James Nye
- Steamin Billy director Bill Allingham
- GC Mallen Managing director Garry Mallen
- Pleisure managing director Nick Griffin
- Glendola Leisure founder Alex Salussolia
- Young’s chief executive Patrick Dardis
- Living Ventures commercial director Jeremy Roberts
- Thorley Taverns operations director Phil Thorley
- Deltic Group chief executive Peter Marks
- Stonegate CEO Simon Longbottom