The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Pubs (Pubs APPG) released the quotes as part of an inquiry it has raised into the effect the coronavirus crisis has had on the licensed trade.
The group has emphasised following the announcement restrictions will remain in place on the sector for an additional four weeks that it is more important than ever these voices are heard.
Full report to be shared
APPG chair Charlotte Nichols said: “During the initial call for evidence of the Pubs APPG inquiry into pubs and the pandemic, we heard from thousands of landlords, pubgoers and organisations about the devastating financial and community effects of restrictions and lockdowns over the past year.
“Without a new support package, the delay in easing lockdown could see thousands of pubs closing and thousands of landlords losing their livelihoods. It is vital pubs are given the Government support they need to survive the next month.
“The Pubs APPG will be holding oral evidence sessions and publishing a full report with recommendations on how the trade can be supported in the coming weeks.
“Until then, we will be sharing some of the heart-breaking responses we have received so far with landlords telling us in their own words, just how crucial clear guidance and support is for their businesses.”
First to close, last to open
Responses will be used in the report alongside recommendations on how the Government can support the on-trade going forwards.
One licensee’s response was: “We have spent a great deal of money in altering our pub to enable us to trade safely. This has not been appreciated. We were first to be closed down and last to be allowed to open. Not fair at all.”
The Pubs APPG aimed to listen to those who have made pubs the heart of communities across the nation and ask what their businesses need.
Another operator said: “[The Government] think we sell food and drink. We don’t. Proper pubs sell social cohesion. The value of that should not be underestimated – we will be paying the cost of mental illness for years.”