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  • 20,000 hospitality venues to miss out on lockdown grants, putting over 1 million jobs at risk unless Government takes advantage of State Aid reforms

    30 October 2020

    Trade associations write to Chancellor Rishi Sunak urging him to apply changes to State Aid   The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) and UKHospitality (UKH) have written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak urging him to loosen State Aid restrictions, so that vital cash grants he promised to UK pubs and hospitality businesses in tier two and tier three lockdown areas can reach them. According to the trade associations, if the Chancellor doesn’t apply the changes to State Aid restrictions, 20,000 hospitality venues and pubs across the UK will not receive the support he has allocated to them – putting the one million plus people they employ’s livelihoods at risk. Until recently, State Aid rules directed by the EU meant that businesses could only receive up to €800,000 (£720,000) of cash support from the Government, which many businesses had already reached. However, since 13th October, the rules have changed enabling severely impacted businesses such as those in hospitality up to €3,000,000 (£2,700,000) in State Aid. Multiple operators of pubs and hospitality venues are therefore missing out on this vital support. In simple terms, an individual pub or restaurant could have claimed a £25k grant in May 2020, but a multiple pub or restaurant owning business would have been capped at claiming for a maximum of 28 sites. These businesses are therefore unable to access further grant support that is so desperately needed. Businesses hit by this rule, the trade associations say, employ around half of the hospitality workforce – over one million people. This makes getting cash grants to them particularly pertinent in order to protect the majority of hospitality jobs over the winter so they are there for the Spring once restrictions are lifted and the economy opens up again. Despite this, the Government hasn’t confirmed if it will allow businesses to access extra funds that would provide the help they desperately need, despite the trade associations asking Government for clarity on numerous occasion. According to the trade associations, if the Government doesn’t do this, pubs alone will miss out on grant support in the region of £50 million. The trade associations are now calling on the UK Government to apply the change to State Aid immediately and in the most flexible way possible, allowing pub and hospitality businesses to receive the grant funding they are eligible for and desperately need. In a joint statement they said: “Unfortunately, without applying changes to State Aid restrictions, some 20,000 hospitality venues and pubs will not receive the grants the Chancellor has rightly promised them. “Without the grants, many pubs and hospitality businesses will be lost forever and half of the hospitality workforce – over one million livelihoods – will be at risk. “The Government is hiding behind these EU rules which it has the ability to change. This cannot be the Chancellor’s intention, so he must now take advantage of the changes to State Aid rules to immediately unlock the grants our sector desperately needs. “If action is not taken by the Government or the Chancellor, thousands of businesses and over one million jobs will be at risk throughout the winter and might not survive to the spring and the economic recovery.”

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  • Worrying times ahead for pubs, brewers and suppliers in Nottinghamshire facing tier three restrictions and 9pm cut-off on off-license alcohol sales  

    29 October 2020

    BBPA responds to tier three measures set to be placed on Nottinghamshire and calls for support to be available to all pubs, brewers and suppliers to protect 13,500 jobs  The British Beer & Pub Association, the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has today responded to the news that tier three lockdown measures will be placed on Nottinghamshire, severely impacting 823 pubs and putting at risk 13,500 sector jobs worth £268 million to the local economy. As part of the tier three restrictions in the county, off-license sales of alcohol will also be banned after 9pm. Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:  “This is a very worrying time for pubs, brewers and their wider supply chain in Nottinghamshire. “548 pubs who don’t serve substantial meals will be forced to close. 275 food led pubs will be able to remain open if they choose, but their trade will be decimated. “13,500 livelihoods are dependent on pubs in Nottinghamshire. Government financial support now needs to be delivered to them as quickly as possible to help their cash flow and cover their immediate costs. “The 9pm curfew on off-license alcohol sales is also greatly concerning. It will severely impact brewers whose ability to sell through retail outlets is vital to their survival whilst so many pubs are closed. “It is hugely worrying to see this additional alcohol curfew put into place with absolutely no evidence to show how it will fight the spread of the virus. SAGE itself has already called into question the effectiveness of the 10pm curfew on hospitality and this 9pm cut-off for off-license alcohol sales in Nottinghamshire is yet another example of layer upon layer of restriction with no proper evidence for its effectiveness in the first place. “Grants must also be made available to the brewers supplying pubs and off-licenses, who will lose a big proportion of their business overnight from this. “We urge the Government to review these restrictions as soon as possible. “Pubs are the heart of their communities and are safe and regulated environments to both eat and drink in. Beer is quintessentially British and a low alcohol option. Government investment in them now will preserve them for generations to come.”

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  • Changes to Business Rates required for pubs to survive and thrive after COVID-19

    29 October 2020

      British Beer & Pub Association responds to Treasury call for evidence on Business Rates Calls for introduction of digital sales tax   The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has today responded to the Treasury’s call for evidence on Business Rates. In its response to the Treasury, the BBPA has expressed that a much-improved Business Rates system is required if pubs are to survive the COVID-19 crisis and thrive afterwards. As part of this, it has called for a digital sales tax to ensure that companies who primarily or exclusively operate online are paying their fair share in tax too and to enable the business rates multiplier to be reduced. The trade association has also stated several other measures the Treasury must take to enhance the current Rates system, including: Extending the 100% Business Rates holiday beyond March 2021 A lower business rates multiplier for pubs Investment relief to boost growth Extending small business rates relief More regular revaluations of Business Rates by the Valuation Office Agency   Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “A fair and sustainable Business Rates system is critical to support our sector both now and into a strong recovery. “Pubs overpay on Business Rates by some £500 million. Given the current circumstances they find themselves in over COVID-19, and the fact they are a vital community hub, that is simply not right or fair. Companies that operate overwhelmingly online businesses must also pay their fair share, which is why we are calling for a digital sales tax that levels the playing field with more bricks and mortar based businesses. “A much-improved Business Rates system is required too. It is on an unsustainable path for our sector right now and must change if pubs are to survive COVID-19 and thrive after it. “We are also calling on the Government to give a firm indication soon that they will extend the current Rates holiday and other rates relief to the sector.”

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  • Only 1% of hospitality venues report Test and Trace incidences, as latest PHE data shows they were linked to just 2.7% of COVID-19 cases

    28 October 2020

    Trade bodies report figures showing pubs, restaurants and hospitality venues are COVID-secure, urging Government to remove 10pm curfew Pub and hospitality trade bodies UKHospitality, the British Institute of Innkeeping and the British Beer & Pub Association have revealed today that just 1% of hospitality venues across the UK have been linked to NHS Test and Trace incidences (1). The finding, from a survey of members of all three trade associations conducted by hospitality market research company CGA, showed respondents operating over 22,500 outlets across the UK collectively only reported 275 NHS Test and Trace contact incidences – the equivalent to 1% of all outlets surveyed. Latest Public Health England data published also shows that hospitality was linked to just 2.7% of COVID-19 cases (2). The trade bodies say the findings reiterate that pubs, restaurants and hospitality venues are COVID-secure. They are now calling on the Government to consider removing the 10pm curfew on the sector, which SAGE has questioned as an effective way to combat the virus, and which is massively damaging hospitality trade in medium risk regions across the UK. A spokesperson for the trade bodies, said:  “Just 1% of the 22,500 pubs, restaurants and hospitality venues we surveyed said they were linked by NHS Test and Trace to an incidence. “Public Health England’s own data shows hospitality was most recently linked to just 2.7% of COVID-19 incidences. “The evidence is clear that pubs, restaurants and hospitality venues are COVID-secure. Singling them out is simply illogical, counterproductive and grossly unfair. “SAGE itself has called into question the effectiveness of the 10pm curfew and it is greatly harming our sector in medium risk areas. The Government must consider removing the curfew.”

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  • Enhanced support package will help thousands of pubs and livelihoods impacted by tier two restrictions 

    22 October 2020

    BBPA welcomes new package of support announced by the Chancellor     The British Beer & Pub Association, the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has welcomed the enhanced support package for businesses impacted by tier two restrictions across the UK announced today.     The trade association said the new package, which includes cash grants and an enhanced Job Support Scheme, addresses some of the concerns it had been highlighting to Treasury. It said the measures will help thousands of pubs who have seen their businesses greatly hampered by tier two restrictions, but until now were not receiving any support.    It said though that more support was still needed for brewers and those in the supply chain that serve pubs.    Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:     “This necessary and welcome support package will help thousands of pubs with tier two restrictions who otherwise faced devastation to their businesses.    “The impact of restrictions has been immediate and deep on our sector, requiring an extensive response from Government. The measures announced today recognise this and that the tier two restrictions make most pubs and hospitality businesses completely unviable.     “Having called for more support for businesses in our sector struggling under tier two restrictions, we warmly welcome these measures from the Chancellor today. They will help thousands of pubs and support thousands of jobs that otherwise were at real risk of being lost for good.    “We welcome the enhanced Job Support Scheme package for businesses, which we hope will protect more livelihoods in our sector. People are at the heart of pubs and have been our priority throughout this crisis.    “Additional cash grants for businesses under tier two restrictions also provide a crucial lifeline to our pubs, which we welcome. We look forward to seeing the detail on the grant delivery and hope these will remain under review in terms of covering actual fixed costs for businesses forced to close in tier three.     “It is imperative these grants are made exempt from EU State Aid restrictions to ensure they reach all the businesses that need protecting. If they are not made exempt, then they simply won’t reach the businesses that need them. They must also be delivered quickly to ensure pubs do not permanently close due to lack of cash flow caused by not receiving the grants in time to save them.    “The beer and pub sector has been under severe pressure since the beginning of the crisis. 90% of pubs are currently unable to make any profit. Our brewers are forecasting sales through pubs to be 50% down this year. Make no mistake more will need to be done to support Britain's brewers and those in the pub supply chain who currently do not benefit from grants, as well as regular reviewal of the restrictions - including the 10pm curfew - to stimulate public confidence and increase trade. This will require further stimulus measures including Business Rates, VAT and Beer Duty cuts in 2021 and beyond.”

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  • Existential crisis for South Yorkshire pubs facing tier three restrictions

    21 October 2020

    BBPA responds to tier three measures set to be placed on South Yorkshire from Saturday, calling for more support to save the region’s pubs and breweries and 17,900 sector jobs The British Beer & Pub Association, the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has today responded to the news that tier three lockdown measures will be placed on South Yorkshire from Saturday 24th October, severely impacting 982 pubs and 17,900 sector jobs worth £302 million to the local economy. The trade association says a stronger package of financial support is vital not just for pubs, but also brewers and their wider supply chain in South Yorkshire, if they are to survive the further devastating trading restrictions or full closure they face. Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “Pubs, brewers and their wider supply chain in South Yorkshire face an existential crisis with these tier three restrictions coming in. “A far bigger package of financial support, with wider eligibility for all businesses impacted in the region, is needed if our sector is to survive this crisis. “These additional tier three measures mean pubs in South Yorkshire can only remain open if they serve substantial meals, but with even more restrictions including no mixed household groups either inside or outside and only being allowed to serve alcohol with a substantial meal. This will kill the business model of 327 food led pubs. The remaining 655 pubs who don’t serve substantial meals will be forced to close completely. The survival of all pubs in either of these categories is hanging in the balance. “In South Yorkshire alone, 17,900 livelihoods are supported by local pubs. These jobs will be lost too if the Government doesn’t provide deeper and wider support. We are a people business – our staff and customers are everything – we are nothing without them. “Government must now do the right thing and provide our sector with a job retention scheme that will truly protect jobs in pubs, breweries and their wider supply chain. “We also need clarity on the level of cash grants available that must be sufficient to cover the lost revenue and high fixed costs these pubs face. The Government’s current grants – as low as £325 per week for many pubs – are simply not enough. These grants need to be exempt from State Aid restrictions to ensure they reach all the businesses that need protecting. They must also be delivered quickly to ensure pubs do not permanently close due to lack of cash flow caused by not receiving the grants in time to save them. “Support also needs to be made available to brewers and the wider supply chain businesses also seeing their custom taken from them overnight. We desperately need this if we want our local pubs and breweries to survive to serve their communities and support thousands of local jobs. “Now South Yorkshire has been placed in tier three, the restrictions must be reviewed on a frequent basis – at least every two weeks – and re-categorised as soon as deemed appropriate. To do this the Government must clarify what criteria the decisions for transitioning in and out of the tiering system will be based on. We urge the Government to work closely with our sector on this.”

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