Scottish Government Must Provide Further Financial Support To Keep Hospitality Alive

The Scottish Government must go further to support the country’s hospitality businesses if it is to have any hope of keeping businesses alive and jobs safe, according to UKHospitality.

The trade body has today warned that the £40m pot announced will not be enough and has called on the Scottish Government to outline how it will provide further financial support as soon as possible.

UKHospitality Executive Director for Scotland Willie Macleod said: “Financial support for hospitality businesses, which are either closed or operating under severe restrictions, and supply chain businesses is welcome.

“Compulsory closures in the central belt and the trading restrictions elsewhere are biting hard. Consumer confidence is also low which means revenue is down and cash flow reduced. Businesses need cash in order to survive and keep as many of their employees as possible in jobs.

“The reality is, however, that the £40 million pot made available by the Scottish Government is not going to be nearly enough. It will be nowhere near enough to offset the massive hit businesses have taken. It will not keep businesses afloat and it will not keep enough jobs safe.

“The Scottish Government must go further. It needs to announce as soon as possible how it will use its share, understood to be £700m, of the £1.3bn allocated last Friday by the Chancellor to the devolved governments. It must use a significant chunk of this to help beleaguered hospitality sector and its employees. Many hospitality businesses including nightclubs, meeting spaces and conference venues are, as yet, unable to re-open and they need the support that has hitherto been denied them.

“There must also be a change in the way these restrictions are being rolled-out. It is increasingly incumbent on government to provide adequate notice of restrictions being placed on businesses and, at the same time, provide full details of how these businesses will be supported.”