Following the announcement that pubs will remain closed until at least July, trade associations representing pubs, hospitality and brewers have today sent a joint letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, calling for measures to save the future of pubs.
Thanking the Chancellor for existing COVID-19 support, the letter then sets out the cogent economic and social cases for making extra efforts to preserve the Great British local.
The British Beer and Pub Association, British Institute of Innkeeping and UKHospitality, who between them represent owners and operators of 35,000 pubs across the nation, state their unwavering commitment to the safety of pub staff and customers, and cite the industry’s ongoing development of protocols to achieve that objective. The letter further sets out the crucial need for measures to provide tapered support for venues which will be unable to open their doors, or will do so at a loss.
Evoking the special place of pubs in British culture and society, the letter calls upon Chancellor Rishi Sunak for:
- An extended, more flexible furlough scheme to the end of 2020, tapered to encourage people back to work only when it is safe, and gradually, if appropriate.
- Removal of the £51k rateable value cap on grant eligibility, to open funds up to the 20% of pub and hospitality companies that represent the bulk of trade and employees.
- Improved accessibility and eligibility to loans to ensure that businesses can access the necessary funds to survive.
- Additional support to brewers of all sizes, including on beer duty and access to grants and rates relief.
In a jointly issued statement the three associations said: “There are few things more cherished than the British pub. The current crisis casts an existential shadow over the future of these national treasures and we are calling on the Chancellor to act, before many of them – and their valuable jobs, social benefits and economic contributions – are lost to us for good.
“We know that pubs, hospitality and brewers can be crucial in driving economic recovery. We thank the Chancellor for his support thus far but urge him to enable venues across the country to play their role by opening in a safe fashion, when the time is right. Surviving the crisis can only happen with further support from Government, allowing pubs to not only pull through but deliver future prosperity.”