Coronavirus: pubs need specific support


PRESSURE is mounting on the UK and Scottish governments to provide more comprehensive support for pubs during the current shutdown and beyond.

Trade organisation the BII has written to chancellor Rishi Sunak to highlight the need for “continued and extended government support for pubs” after a survey of its members found 20% were not eligible for government grants and only 3% had received loans through the UK Government’s Business Interruption Loan Scheme. Meanwhile, only 16% of the organisation’s members are currently offering takeaway and delivery services, with those venues generating less than 10% of their normal turnover.

BII chief executive Steven Alton said: “It is clear that whilst some of our members have been helped by the economic support measures government has put in place, many others have not yet received that relief, and over 20% of our members with rateable values over £51k are not even eligible for the cash grants.

“The BII is continuing to support its members as individuals, however, it is also our role to ensure government are made aware of the challenges that continue to face licensees as they try to keep their businesses alive.”

And the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has called on prime minister Boris Johnson to “back British pubs” by ensuring they are supported throughout and after the shutdown.

BBPA chief executive, Emma McClarkin, said the sector needs the government’s “full support” if it is to weather the COVID-19 crisis.

“The government needs to give the guarantees now it will give more specific support to pubs and hospitality businesses,” said McClarkin.