Call for pubs to step up on rates campaigning

By Ed Bedington

- Last updated on GMT

How can pubs target their MPs on rates campaign?

Related tags Government Legislation Pub Business rate relief Bii Steve Alton Coronavirus Finance

With many pubs struggling to break even, operators are being urged to increase pressure through their local MPs around business rates relief as the Government Autumn Statement approaches.

The British Institute of Innkeeping is calling on pubs across the country to write to, and invite their MPs into their sites as part of it’s ongoing #MyPub campaign.

With ongoing challenges, inflationary pressures and rising costs, the BII said the current business rate relief, in place until the end of March next year, had been a vital lifeline for many operations.

For businesses coming out of the pandemic, the devastating energy hikes and soaring inflation, meant many had not had the chance to start to recover from the Covid crisis.

Recent data from a BII member survey highlighted that whilst 2 out of 3 pubs are trading strongly with revenues back to normal level or growing, half of them were only breaking even.

The BII has been running its #MyPub campaign through the summer, calling on pubs across the UK to write to their MPs, and invite them to visit their vital, local businesses at the heart of their constituencies.  

The MP visits across the country have been key to sharing the positive impact pubs have within their communities, the realities of trading, and calling for their support in gaining the investment needed for their pub to be a growth engine in their local economy.

Ahead of the Autumn Statement in November the BII are calling on all pubs to contact their MP to seek their backing for a continuation of this vital support, for at least another year, to allow pubs to start their recovery and once again give them confidence to invest in their businesses and teams. 

Steve Alton, BII CEO, said: “There is no second chance, we need every pub to contact their MP, leave them in no doubt of how critical business rates support is and gain their backing for its continuation for at least another year.  

“The Government has provided significant support through the pandemic and through this year with the current business rates relief in England, but without the continuation of this support this investment in pubs will be lost.  

“As our sector proves time and time again, we are at the heart of local communities & economies powering growth and local skilled employment. The case is clear for investment in their future at the heart of every community.

“The Chancellor has an opportunity to provide a lifeline to help support pubs through these exceptional trading conditions. The business case is also clear for a longer-term levelling of the playing field with a reduction in the unfair and disproportionate taxes that pubs face, holding back their potential for investment and growth. We will continue to make the clear case for a reduction in taxation with a priority on VAT. 

“Both the Chancellor and the Prime Minister have regularly referenced pubs as “treasured community institutions” and they have an opportunity with continued business rates support to show their commitment to their future.”

To get involved, please visit the BII’s website for a template letter​ and full contact details for your local MP.

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