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Hospitality industry requires clarity on yesterday’s government advice

Hospitality industry requires clarity on yesterday’s government advice

With one voice the hospitality industry is demanding immediate support from the Government to avoid a nationwide catastrophe

UKHospitality and over 200 CEOs from across the UK’s hospitality sector have called on the Government to provide immediate support for businesses.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, the trade body has said that, unless financial support is swift, then the sector is looking at unprecedented levels of closures and job losses across the nation.

Hospitality is calling for:

  • Extension of the business rates and NIC payment break to all hospitality businesses for at least six months
  • The UK to follow the lead of other countries such as the USA, France and Denmark by committing to additional working capital support while funding salaries and retaining staff, and
  • Pressure on landlords and banks to avoid forfeiture of rent payments.

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “This is by far the greatest crisis we have had to face as a sector. Venues are already closing and people are already losing their jobs. Unless we get immediate financial support from the Government, the country’s hospitality sector will cease to exist in any recognisable capacity.” 

Similarly, Andrew Bennett MBE, National Chair of the Craft Guild of Chefs, said: “In light of recent government advice that people should avoid bars and restaurants, we are calling on the government to provide clarity. This half measure means businesses are unable to claim on their insurance for business interruption unless they are officially told to close. This lack of clear guidance could spell the death knell for our industry. 

“This is totally unacceptable; businesses say they are just taking a slow painful walk into bankruptcy. The Government has been too slow to act, bars and restaurants have been impacted since the start of the pandemic. The Government needs to put together a package to help these businesses. We will work together as an industry to hold the Government to account for the crisis in our sector.”

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association also says unequivocally that the Government needs to address the situation as a matter of urgency: "The severity of the COVID-19 crisis is now impacting on Pubs with devastating effect. The very existence of thousands of pubs and a lot more jobs is now at risk.

"The Government needs to give clear instructions and detail on the support package to rescue the sector and hundreds of thousands of jobs. Urgent measures to support cash flows and enable cost reductions are an absolute necessity.”

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