09/29/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/29/2020 11:45
Sector sends letter to PM pressing him for more help, warning that business will fail and hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost without more Government support
Over 100 hospitality businesses in the UK, including pub businesses, restaurant chains and hotel operators have written directly to the Prime Minister warning that he must personally do more to help them.
In the letter to the Prime Minister, led by trade associations the British Beer & Pub Association, UKHospitality and the British Institute of Innkeeping, it says that without additional and urgent support many businesses will not 'survive this bleakest of winters' and hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost.
The letter states that even prior to the latest COVID-19 restrictions, half of all hospitality businesses did not believe they would survive beyond the middle of next year. It says that the latest restrictions - including the 10pm curfew - 'have made this fight to survive even harder.'
It calls on the Government to commit to review the appropriateness of the latest restrictions at least every three weeks, and to remove them if they are found to not be impacting the spread of the virus.
The letter also says that if hospitality businesses are to survive and 'lead the economic and employment recovery', they need more Government support.
It states that the Chancellor's winter support package 'does not go nearly far enough for our imperilled sector.' It continues, 'without an immediate review of the support on offer to pubs, restaurants and wider hospitality businesses, many will be lost for years to come.'
The letter immediately calls on the Prime Minister to remove employer contributions for the hospitality sector to the Job Support Scheme and provide a package of grant funding for those businesses that face restrictions being brought forward. To plan and rebuild beyond the winter, it also says 'the VAT cut and business rates holiday must also be extended through 2021 and beer duty cut.'
In closing, the letter asks the Prime Minister 'to intervene as a matter of urgency' and offers a meeting of sector leaders to help draw up a sector-specific support package to reflect sector-specific restrictions and preventing 'the devastating damage that is drawing ever closer.'
Dear Prime Minister
We write to you today as a collective of businesses from across the hospitality sector, from multinational operators to representatives of individual sites, as the realities of last week's announcement now become clear. We are committed to working with the Government in the fight to keep COVID-19 under control and demonstrating our businesses are safe places for customers to visit. Quite simply, though, we need additional and urgent support in order to survive this bleakest of winters. Businesses are at risk of failure and hundreds of thousands of viable jobs will be lost without Government action.
Hospitality is a major driver of economic activity in the UK, supporting more than three million jobs during 2019 and tens of thousands of small, medium and large businesses in every corner of the country. They are integral to Britain's tourism offer. Our sector has been hit incredibly hard by the pandemic and many businesses have already sadly closed forever, with the remainder fighting for survival. For tens of thousands of small pub business operators, these are their homes as well as their livelihoods. Even prior to this week, one half of hospitality businesses did not believe they would survive beyond the middle of next year. Many have not even yet had the chance to re-open, such as nightclubs and the events sector.
The latest restrictions have made this fight to survive even harder. Town and city centre businesses - re-opened as people were urged to return to offices - will now be shut down. Across the country, the 10pm curfew has removed key trading hours for all of us vital to our survival, removing whole shifts from food-led businesses. It has created pinch points for public transport and large groups congregating elsewhere in a manner likely to increase COVID-related health risks.
The sector has invested tens of millions of pounds in protective equipment for staff, perspex shields, enhanced cleaning regimes as well as new technology solutions to create entirely safe Covid-secure environments, yet trade is already being decimated as more consumers stay away whilst costs continue to rise. On top of this, we are experiencing further restrictions for already Covid-Secure venues, which dismays operators as yet more restrictions are applied to their businesses. We are not opposed to restrictions that can tackle the spread of the virus but a pragmatic and flexible approach has to be adopted by both central and local Government. A commitment must be made to review the appropriateness of all these measures at least every three weeks. The 10pm curfew should be removed if demonstrably not working as intended or adjusted to provide for gradual dispersal and avoid the unintended consequences for the wider sector including cultural activities now impacted.
If we are to have businesses to rebuild once the winter months are over that will lead the economic and employment recovery, we now need urgent Government support. Sector-specific restrictions deserve sector-specific support. However, the package announced by the Chancellor does not go nearly far enough for our imperiled sector. The Job Support Scheme, as it stands, regrettably does not provide us with the necessary tools to stave off hundreds of thousands of redundancies of otherwise viable jobs that are now taking place on an unprecedented scale. The simple truth is that without an immediate review of the support on offer to pubs, restaurants and wider hospitality businesses, many will be lost for years to come. The damage to communities will be immeasurable, long-term, and ultimately extremely costly for Government.
In the immediate term, the employer contributions need to be removed for the hospitality sector and a new package of grant funding for businesses that face restrictions brought forward. To plan for a future beyond the winter, the VAT cut and business rates holiday must also be extended through 2021 and beer duty cut.
We would ask you to intervene as a matter of urgency and as a first step convene a meeting of sector leaders to help draw up a support package that will prevent the devastating damage that is drawing ever closer.
Signed and supported by the following businesses and business leaders:
|Admiral Taverns||Chris Jowsey|
|All Our Bars||Paul Wigham|
|Anglian Country Inns Ltd||James Nye|
|Arkell's Brewery||George Arkell|
|Artizian Catering||Andrew Botting|
|Asahi UK||Tim Clay|
|Azzurri Group||Steve Holmes|
|Bartlett Mitchell||Wendy Bartlett MBE|
|Baxter Storey||John Bennett|
|Big Table Group||James Spragg|
|Black Sheep Brewery||Andy Slee|
|Brakspear Pub Company||Tom Davies|
|Brasserie Bar Co||Mark Derry|
|British Beer and Pub Association||Emma McClarkin|
|British Institute of Innkeeping||Steve Alton|
|Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I||Paula Lindenberg|
|Budweiser Budvar UK||Simon George|
|Burger King||Alasdair Murdoch|
|C&C Group||Andrea Pozzi|
|Caffè Nero||Gerry Ford|
|Caledonian Heritable||Graeme Arnott|
|Camerons Brewing||Chris Soley|
|Carlsberg UK||Tomasz Blawat|
|CH&Co Group||Tim Jones|
|CH&Co Group||Bill Toner|
|D&D London||David Loewi|
|D&D London||Des Gunewardena|
|Daleside Brewery||Eric Lucas|
|Daniel Batham & Son||Tim Batham|
|Daniel Thwaites||Richard Bailey|
|Deltic Group||Peter Marks|
|Everards Brewery||Stephen Gould|
|Frederic Robinsons||William Robinson|
|Fuller, Smith and Turner||Simon Emeny|
|GC Mallen||Garry Mallen|
|George Bateman & Son||Jaclyn Bateman|
|Glendola Leisure Group||Alex Salussolia|
|Gray & Sons||Nicola Kitchener|
|Graysons Hospitality Ltd||Sir Francis Mackay|
|Graysons Hospitality Ltd||Tim O'Neill|
|Greene King||Nick Mackenzie|
|Hall & Woodhouse||Matthew Kearsey|
|Harvey & Son Brewery||Hamish Elder|
|Harviestoun Brewery||Simon Amor|
|Heineken UK||Simon Amor|
|Hogs Back Brewery||Rupert Thompson|
|Holden's Brewery||Jonathan Holden|
|Honest Burgers||Gary Mann|
|Hook Norton Brewery Co||James Clarke|
|Houston & Hawkes||Simon Houston|
|Hydes Brewery||Adam Mayers|
|Innis & Gunn||Crawford Sinclair|
|J.W. Lees & Co||William Lees-Jones|
|JD Wetherspoon||John Hutson|
|Joseph Holt||Richard Kershaw|
|Legacy Hotels||Andy Townsend|
|Liberation Group||Jonathan Lawson|
|Loch Melfort Hotel||Calum Ross|
|McMullen & Son||Tom McMullen|
|Mitchells & Butlers||Phil Urban|
|Molson Coors||Phil Whitehead|
|New River Retail||Mark Davies|
|Oakman Inns||Peter Borg-Neal|
|Parkdean Resorts||Steve Richards|
|Pizza Hut Restaurants||Jens Hofma|
|Punch Pubs & Co||Clive Chesser|
|Rock Point Leisure||Dan Davies|
|Rosa's Thai Café||Gavin Adair|
|S.A. Brain & Co||Alistair Darby|
|Scottish Tourism Alliance||Marc Crothall|
|Shepherd Neame||Jonathan Neame|
|Star Pubs & Bars||Lawson Mountstevens|
|St Brides Spa Hotel||Andrew Evans|
|St. Austell Brewery||Kevin Georgel|
|Stonegate Pub Company||Simon Longbottom|
|T&R Theakston||Simon Theakston|
|The Genuine Dining Co.||Chris Mitchell|
|The Pub People Company||Kevin Sammons|
|Thomas Hardy Brewing and Packaging||Chris Ward|
|Thorley Taverns||Phil Thorley|
|Thurlestone Hotel||Tim Hassell|
|Timothy Taylor's & Co||Tim Dewey|
|Titanic Brewery||Keith Bott|
|Tourism Alliance||Kurt Janson|
|TriSpan LLP||Robin Rowland OBE|
|Trust Inns||Mark Brown|
|Wadworth & Co||Chris Welham|
|Wells & Co||Paul Wells|
|Whiting & Hammond Ltd||Brian Whiting|
|Woodforde's Brewery||Joe Parks|
|Young's & Co||Patrick Dardis|