British pub lobby organisation, the Forum of British Pubs is supporting the campaign to ‘save our pubs with an urgent support package’ in conjunction with the British Pub Confederation, and the Campaign for Pubs.
The campaign is driving a petition, calling on those wanting to preserve their local pubs to sign and lobby their MPs to:
- Increase closure grants to £1000 per week during the current crisis
- Introduce a statutory rent code to provide rent relief during closure, and realistic rents during the recovery period whilst challenging trading conditions persist
- A business rates holiday in 2021/22
- Rebasing VAT on pubs and hospitality sales to 5%
Drawing attention to the disproportionate impact of the restrictions associated with Tier 2 and Tier 3 Covid lockdowns, the campaign emphasises that without the urgent support for all pubs that cannot realistically open there is a high probability that many of the county’s pubs will have no option but to close.
Ian Cass, Managing Director of the Forum of British Pubs and Vice-Chair of the British Pub Confederation said:
“Many publicans are bewildered at the governments targeting of pubs, having invested time and money in creating safe environments for both staff and customers, while allowing large numbers of people to continue to shop in large retail environments which have far less safety measures in place than pubs. Pubs and publicans are being thrown to the wolves, unfairly seeing their businesses and livelihoods threatened without any real evidence to justify the restrictions being imposed on them.
“Now that The Government has announced these devastating and deeply questionable restrictions on pubs and hospitality, they need to come up with an urgent and meaningful package of support including adequate grants to see pubs through the winter which support the pubs and publicans who run them, rather than on unreasonable rents. Anything less and the blame for pub closures, increased unemployment and damage to communities will lie squarely with Ministers who haven’t listened”.