The British Institute of Innkeeping (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.
Trading conditions continue to be the most challenging pubs have ever experienced, with exceptional energy costs, continuing inflationary cost increases across all areas of their business, and significantly increased staff costs. The current business rates relief, in place until the end of March next year, has been a vital lifeline and recognised that pub businesses needed breathing space to start the long road to recovery. With soaring inflation and devastating energy costs in particular, their recovery has not yet started, and the business rates relief has been critical for many pubs just to continue trading. 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.
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 commented: “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.