Cry to Rishi for help or see 10,000 sites shut for good

By Georgi Gyton, MCA

- Last updated on GMT

Closures loom: cancellations have risen sharply even without further restrictions implemented (credit: Getty/Panostock)
Closures loom: cancellations have risen sharply even without further restrictions implemented (credit: Getty/Panostock)

Related tags: Finance, Multi-site pub operators, Pubco + head office, Tenanted + leased, Health and safety, Legislation

Hospitality leaders have warned Chancellor Rishi Sunak that he must commit to a package of support for businesses within the next 24 hours or risk the permanent closure of thousands of pubs and restaurants.

Venues across the country have been experiencing a spike in cancellations as well as lower footfall on the streets following the implementation of Plan B, and government guidance on pre-Christmas socialising, leaving many struggling to survive.

Whitehall sources have said support is inevitable in the event of an official lockdown but UKHospitality and the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) have warned that additional support is needed now, The Telegraph​ has reported.

Hanging on by its fingernails

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nichols said that as many as 10,000 sites could close even without further restrictions.

“We don’t have another week, the industry is hanging on by its fingernails. We need an announcement that something is coming by the beginning of this week – even if the details aren’t worked out yet,” she told the newspaper.

“Even if the details aren’t clearly spelt out, we need to end this limbo. My inbox is full of people asking how to pay staff in the run-up to Christmas. If no support is coming we will see an acceleration of business failures.”

Devastating impact

British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Emma McClarkin added a support package was needed early this week so that businesses could make winter survival plans.

“The impact of the announcements this December have been devastating with millions of cancellations and a huge drop in footfall causing huge losses for businesses and worry for the new year,” she said.

It is understood that another cut to VAT and additional cash boosts are among the measures being considered by the Chancellor.

This article first appeared in sister publication MCA.

Related topics: Legislation

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