MA500

Furlough scheme has been a ‘lifesaver’ for business

By Nikkie Thatcher

- Last updated on GMT

State aid: City Pub Group's Clive Watson and Livelyhood Pub Group's Tom Talbot reveal the Government support the businesses have used and how
State aid: City Pub Group's Clive Watson and Livelyhood Pub Group's Tom Talbot reveal the Government support the businesses have used and how

Related tags: Coronavirus

Two multiple operators have heaped praise on the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme amid the coronavirus pandemic.

City Pub Group and Livelyhood Pub Group will be outlining how they have used financial state support at the digital MA500 conference this week (Thursday 14 May).

Both businesses have applied for and received Government support amid the crisis, including grants and the furlough scheme.

Eight of City Pub Group’s sites have been eligible for the £25,000 grant and the business has furloughed 99% of its staff, executive chairman Clive Watson told The Morning Advertiser​’s senior features writer Stuart Stone.

City Pub Group raised £15m from the successful placing of 30,000,000 new ordinary shares earlier this year (27 March).

Fundraising effort

The operator of close to 50 sites across London and the south, City Pub Group’s placing came as part of a two-pronged fundraising effort that aims to raise a total of £22m.

Following the offering of 30m new ordinary shares to certain existing shareholders and other institutional investors at a price of 50p per share – a discount of 10.7% – the operator hoped to raise a further £7m via an open offer at the same share price.

Livelyhood Pub Group has six sites in south-west London, two of these have been eligible for grants and has also furloughed the vast majority of staff.

Director of operations Tom Talbot said the grants were simple to apply for but the unreliability factor was how quickly individual local authority processed them.

Looking ahead

Talbot and Watson hailed the furlough scheme as a “lifesaver” to help secure jobs at the businesses and Livelyhood is now looking at how to support its teams for reopening.

Livelyhood hasn’t applied for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme but is working with its bank to look into how the business can move forward.

Talbot highlighted how the business will be keeping an eye on what support will still be there in the future as lockdown restrictions are eased.

Watson and Talbot will be delving more into this at the MA500 online conference on Thursday 14 May, which is taking place from 11am until 12.30pm.

If you’re a multiple operator and would like to attend this event, register now here​​.

Full agenda:

  • Introduction – The Morning Advertiser​​ editor Ed Bedington
  • Scene setter – UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls provides an update on the current situation, the direction Government support is taking and where the industry is heading
  • Finance – Pubs have started to receive the help announced by the Government and we hear, first-hand, how the process has been and how these funds are being used
  • Peer perspective – Operators reveal what they have been doing amid the crisis, including furloughing staff and safeguarding business for when lockdown restrictions are lifted
  • Corporate responsibility – From forgoing salary to delivering drinks, online community platforms and more, staff welfare has remained at the fore and we find out how teams are being engaged by this
  • Conclusion and wrap-up – Ed Bedington

Live Q&A with all speakers

MA500 is supported by headline sponsor Molson Coors and associate sponsors CPL Learning, Davey Co, Poppleston Allen, UCC Coffee, UKHospitality and Wireless Social.

Related topics: MA500 Business Club, UnitedWeStand

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