‘A need to work together’ during coronavirus pandemic

By Ed Bedington

- Last updated on GMT

Editor’s comment: we must end sniping, peacocking and grandstanding
Editor’s comment: we must end sniping, peacocking and grandstanding

Related tags: Coronavirus

For most of us, this is starting to feel like the end of the world. In such a short space of time, we’ve gone from something that seemed like an abstract problem in a far away part of the world to having the rug completely pulled out from under us.

The Government’s rather cowardly initial approach of telling people to “avoid pubs” saw an entire sector thrown under the bus with only vague assurances of help.

Our new shiny Chancellor then rode to the rescue (well a bit) and has offered a few morsels of help, but still more is needed.

This situation is so fluid, that by the time this has been published, I’m sure the situation will have evolved even further, but we need to strive to cling on, do everything we can to weather the current storm. But to do that requires a united front.

We need to suspend the usual sniping, peacocking and grandstanding, and actually work for real solutions.

We're all in this together. We’re all businesses with employees and livelihoods at stake, big and small.

There’s a duty of care on all of us, whatever our size, to seek solutions. Comments made on quick decisions made in a fluid environment such as “kicking cans down the road” aren’t helpful and miss the bigger picture.

To survive this challenge, we all have to keep kicking the can as far down the road as we can.

When we run out of road, then we can see what happens, but for now, we need to keep looking towards that horizon, stand firm at the tiller and hope the earth doesn't turn out to be flat (to mix a few metaphors).

That said, hopefully there’s a special place being prepared in hell for the insurance companies that have done such a sterling job of abandoning the trade.

This is a dynamic situation, and I appreciate for many of us it’s also very frightening.

However, I can reassure all our readers that The Morning Advertiser​ (MA​) will continue to do everything we can to offer the best and latest information through our website, and continue to provide the advice and insight you need to try navigate a way through these turbulent waters. 

Pubs are our heritage, part of the fabric of our society, and we’ll continue to fight tooth and nail to protect them.

Things we at MA​ would like to see addressed:

  • Insurance companies held to account
  • More Government fiscal support, particularly to help protect employees and jobs
  • A fiscal plan for when we come out of this mess so that the bridging loans don’t come home to roost and destroy what’s left of the industry
  • More pub companies to come in line with the likes of Greene King and Punch to offer greater support to tenants
  • Government to ensure speed of access to funds for desperate businesses – liquidity is key, so fast cash is a must
  • Controls in place to protect leaseholders with a six-month forfeiture moratorium to prevent landlords from seizing back properties now rates are not an issue
  • Suppliers and partners to the trade to do everything they can to be reasonable on payment terms to ensure businesses can survive

Related topics: Health & safety, UnitedWeStand

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