The Independent Family Brewers of Britain (IFBB), an association of 29 of the oldest family businesses in the country, have provided well over £20M in financial support for their pub tenants since lockdown began in March. The support included cancelling rent payments, and suspending service charge and loan repayments.
As the pubs finally began to open their doors to the public again this week, IFBB members are now actively working with pub landlords to put all the necessary measures in place to protect staff and reassure customers that it is safe to return.
The Coronavirus outbreak is one of the most severe challenges IFBB members have ever faced in their long histories. They are famous and much-loved regional names, who have weathered recessions, wars and epidemics over more than two centuries.
The shock imposed on them and the wider hospitality industry by forced closure has left them reeling as they reassess their business models and look to the future. However, as family-owned businesses with a focus very much on the long term they will continue to invest in and support their pubs and their people through re-opening and beyond.
Rick Bailey, Chairman of the Independent Family Brewers of Britain and Chief Executive of Thwaites Brewery, said: “This has been a terrible and worrying time for our tenants and anyone who cares about the Great British Pub. This crisis has hit all parts of the hospitality sector hard, but together we must pull through into a brighter future.
“Collectively, IFBB companies have provided over £20M of support for their pub tenants during this crisis, even while sustaining losses elsewhere, and it is likely that we will yet have to do more to help. But we will be there on the other side – supporting landlords to come through this extremely challenging period, protect jobs and of course be successful and prosperous again.
“The Family Brewers form part of the social fabric of our society, protectors of some of the finest pubs in the country. We are responsible for safeguarding this country’s historic pub and brewing heritage and investing in community assets for the long term. We will not allow the Great British Pub to fail and we are doing all we can to prevent that.
“There can be no doubt, however, that the assistance given by the Chancellor and the Government has been crucial. Furlough and pub grants gave our sector crucial oxygen at a time in March when we were suffocating. Now we have August’s innovative Dine Out to Help Out scheme and the Government’s incentives to continue to sustain and create employment through to the other side of furlough as we recover.
“The Government’s support of the Great British Pub and wider hospitality sector has saved jobs and sparked hope that we can rebuild for the future – it should be celebrated.
“Pubs have taken huge steps to protect their customers and help them to socialise again. Be positive. Celebrate the future. Rediscover and support us. You will find that we are ready for you!”