£7.8 billion worth of trading due to be wiped out
Under the new tier system announced today, 98% of the UK’s hospitality trade will now take place in tier 2 and 3 regions, according to UKHospitality.
Should the restrictions last the entire month of December, an estimated £7.8 billion worth of trading is set to be wiped out, compared to 2019.
UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “The new tier system will deliver another huge blow to hospitality, with 98% of trade now happening in tier 2 or 3 regions. This will see £7.8 billion of trading wiped out compared to last year if the restrictions last all of December.
“These are safe spaces for people to meet, relax and socialise and the sector is desperate to get staff back to work, open their doors and, in the long term, diminish reliance on the public purse and begin driving economic recovery.
“The new tiers will see over 120,000 venues across England placed into Tier 2, with tens of thousands of these forced to close as they are unable to provide a table meal, either physically or financially. This affects the employment of nearly 1.5 million people. Under this severe a restriction, 94% of our members say they will be unviable or trading at a loss.
“For the 38,000 businesses in Tier 3, employing over 540,000 there is no option but to provide takeaway or close altogether.
“We still have not seen any evidence that hospitality venues – which have invested great time effort and money to making their spaces COVID-secure – are a problem area in terms of infection, so it seems unfair and arbitrary that hospitality is being dealt such a harsh hand. According to a recent UKH survey, 72% of visitors to hospitality were satisfied with the safety of our venues, compared to just 11% who were not.
“It is now more vital than ever that the Government provides urgent further financial support for this sector. If it does not, we are looking at huge numbers of job losses, businesses permanently closed and the landscape of hospitality in this country fundamentally degraded for the foreseeable future.
“If we want to see businesses survive, then we desperately need a replacement for the Job Retention Bonus Scheme and for the Government to extend the rent moratoria and broker a solution to tackle the issue of rent debt that has built up. If we want to give those businesses that do survive this winter a better chance at succeeding next year, then the VAT cut and businesses rates holiday must now be extended and grants provided to support businesses paid out at the earliest opportunity.”