Palmers Brewery gives retrospective rent reduction

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

Business support: Palmers Brewery MD John Palmer has outlined the company’s plans around coronavirus
Business support: Palmers Brewery MD John Palmer has outlined the company’s plans around coronavirus

Related tags: Coronavirus, Palmers

South-west-based operator Palmers Brewery has given its licensees a retrospective rent reduction of 50% for the month of March, before Covid-19 hit the industry, along with no rent payable for April.

This will be reviewed monthly by the business and it added the rent will not be collected at a later date, in a bid to support its licensees.

A message on Palmers Brewery website from chair and managing director John Palmer outlined the company’s plan.

It said: “Over the past two weeks, I have been overwhelmed by the way in which our outstanding and resilient licensees have navigated an ever-changing environment and shown such ingenuity and community spirit.

“As a company, we have tried our utmost to keep helpful communication flowing. We have also put together a financial support package of retrospective rent reduction of 50% for the month of March before the virus hit; this packaged has been expanded to zero rent charged for April and will be reviewed monthly.

“We will not be collecting this at a later date; hence we will continue to support all our licensees during this difficult period.

“We are in this together, with our wonderful licensee partners and hope that with our support, and their drive and determination we will all be in the best position to hit the ground running when safe to do so.”

Company first

The message went on to say the business has closed its brewery for the first time in its history and almost all employees had now been furloughed.

It added: “As a small business ourselves, we have also been hit for six. Earlier in the week, we took the difficult but inevitable decision to pause brewing at the historic Old Brewery in Bridport, Somerset, for the first time in its 226-year history.

“With the exception of key essential functions, all Palmers employees are now on furloughed leave at the Government-reduced salary level of 80% to maintain job security in the long run.

“Nobody has been made redundant and we aim to keep it that way, as we look to the future and eventual return to normality.”

Salary sacrifice

It highlighted how executive members of the business have also taken a pay cut to help keep the company going.

It said: “Our board and shareholders are leading from the front with substantial salary sacrifices too and believe at times like this, our family values stand firm.

“The Prime Minister has asked us all to ‘stand by our people’ and we have done exactly that. We are busy planning for the future and helping our licensees to work up exciting new menus and reasons to visit to help draw people in when the time comes.

“A true West Country welcome awaits them as soon as it is safe to do so. Until then, please stay safe.”

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