Impact of poor December could be felt until 2022

Trade group exhorts politicians to “grow up and start working with each other”


A “DEVASTATING” December for the hospitality industry has thrown millions of pounds of investment into doubt, with the effects likely to be felt until 2022, according to the Scottish Hospitality Group (SHG).

The trade group has said that a survey of its members revealed that earnings in December 2020 were only 20% of the previous year, with the average member business losing £12,000 of revenue per premises, per week in the course of the month.

This is expected to have a significant impact on investment this year, with more than £30 million of investment said to have been put on hold by member businesses.

With the trade having suffered “the worst December’s trading in living memory” SHG spokesman, Stephen Montgomery, called on politicians in Holyrood and Westminster to work together to help the industry.

“The continued furlough scheme is welcome but it’s there to protect jobs rather than businesses, and we still have to pay all sorts of fixed costs,” said Montgomery.

“Even those businesses that survive will seriously struggle to recover this year. Not only is the support completely inadequate, in many cases what little is available hasn’t appeared months after it was promised.

“We will soon be proposing specific, realistic measures that both governments can introduce so we’ve got a fighting chance of getting back on our feet by next year.

“First of all though, we need them to grow up and start working together so that the hospitality sector still exists to drive our economic recovery once the virus is under better control.”