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  • Landmark ruling on insurance a boost to pubs and brewers

    15 January 2021

    BBPA welcomes UK Supreme Court judgment meaning insurers will have to pay out on business interruption insurance The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has today welcomed the UK Supreme Court’s judgement that insurers will have to payout on business interruption insurance. The BBPA has been very vocal and public in its support for the case to make insurers payout, which was led by the Financial Conduct Authority. A BBPA member survey back in May 2020 found that 56% of sector businesses had claims for Business Interruption cover rejected. Separate research from the British Institute of Innkeepers in the same period found that just 3% of pub businesses had been successful in receiving a Business Interruption insurance claim. Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “This landmark ruling is great news for pubs and brewers who hadn’t received payouts on Business Interruption insurance thus far. It is a glimmer of hope in what is an incredibly tough time for our sector. “The lack of payouts over insurance claims has added to the terrible woes and uncertainty our sector has faced over the last 10 months. It is why the BBPA backed the FCA in its campaign to resolve the issue. “While our sector is far from out the woods yet, this announcement helps resolve some of the uncertainty it has faced on insurance cover and is warmly welcome.”

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  • Pubs will be calling ‘mayday’ if they cannot reopen until May 

    11 January 2021

    BBPA says far more financial support from Government will be needed if pubs are not to open until May The British Beer & Pub Association, the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has today responded to speculation that pubs may be forced to stay closed until May. The trade association has said pubs across the UK will be lost for good if they cannot reopen until May 2021 and do not get extended financial support from Government. The trade association has also said the Government needs to be clear on its roadmap for the reopening of pubs. Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:  “We really hope that the speculation about pubs being forced to stay closed until May is not true. We strongly believe that pubs are safe places to socialise and can play an important role in our social and economic recovery. “If pubs are forced to stay close until May, it would mean they have faced 14 months of lockdowns and restrictions. How on earth could the Government expect them to survive? “UK pubs will be screaming ‘mayday’ long before a May reopening without significantly more financial support from Government. “Sadly, these rumours are another example of the unfair targeting of pubs and have no thought for hardworking publicans and communities across the country who fear the loss of their homes, livelihoods and heart of their communities. “The Government has a duty to tell publicans when it plans to let them reopen with a clear roadmap alongside the vaccination programme. If it won’t be until May then it needs to extend financial support for them to survive and to brewers whose businesses also face jeopardy. “In the more immediate future this means an extension to the Chancellor’s latest grant support package and not just for pubs, but also breweries. In the longer term it means extensions to the Business Rates holiday and VAT cut, as well as a beer duty cut throughout 2021 and beyond. “Without such support, local pubs in communities across the country will be lost forever. We hope though that we can open safely and serve our customers and communities as soon as possible.”

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  • New lockdown grants worth £277 million are a lifeline to pubs 

    05 January 2021

    BBPA welcomes new lockdown grants, but says they must be delivered immediately to pubs The British Beer & Pub Association, the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has today welcomed an announcement by the Chancellor that pub businesses are to receive a one-off grant worth up to £9,000 per property to help them through the latest lockdown.    The trade association, which has been campaigning for the Government to significantly increase its financial support to brewers and pubs, said the announcement was a lifeline to pubs across England who otherwise were at very real risk of closing for good.   The BBPA is now urging the Government to deliver its new grants to businesses immediately. It is also calling on the Government to provide the same levels of grant support to brewers.    Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:     “We welcome this much-needed support from the Chancellor, worth £277 million to UK pubs. It is the lifeline we have been campaigning for to save our pubs and help them survive through to the Spring.    “Without this support, pubs across England were at real risk of being lost for good at the beginning of this year. We had been anticipating permanent closures in the very short term without it.      “Given that the future of so many pubs hang by a thread, it is essential that the Government deliver these grants to pub businesses immediately. If the grants take weeks or months to get to the pubs they are meant for, it will be too late. We stand ready to work with Government and Local Authorities to ensure the grants are delivered at pace. We also need confirmation from Government that the new State Aid rules will allow businesses access to these grants.      “The grants will mean many pubs may now be able make it through until spring. The Government now must also provide the same levels of support to brewers who have suffered months of closure of a major trading channel in pubs, but are not eligible for the support announced today.    “In the coming months, the Government must also share how it will help our sector to play a leading role in the economic recovery when it can reopen, by extending stimulus support such as the Business Rates holiday and VAT cut, along with further initiatives including a beer duty cut. The sooner we hear of the long term support for the sector the better.” 

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  • Third lockdown adds to woes of pubs

    04 January 2021

    BBPA responds to third lockdown announced for England, urges Government for comprehensive pub support package The British Beer & Pub Association, the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has today responded to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement that England is to go into a third lockdown. Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “A third lockdown is yet another blow to our sector. Particularly after it has faced an abysmally quiet Christmas and New Year’s, which saw many pubs remain closed over what is meant to be their busiest time of the year. “The announcement today adds to the woes of pubs as it shows they are a long way from reopening properly. The road to recovery for the pub sector just got longer. “Given the circumstances, a wave of business failures is imminent unless a greater package of financial support from the Government is given to secure pubs and the brewers that supply them. That means grants in line with those in the first lockdown and support beyond April when the business rates holiday, lower VAT rates and furlough scheme all end. “Having made it this far through the crisis, it would be disastrous if the Prime Minister didn’t now deliver the support our sector needs to ensure it makes it through to Easter when we hope to return back to normality. “Without such support, this lockdown will just tip pubs over the edge meaning jobs vital to communities across England will be lost forever to the detriment of the economy in the long term. “Ultimately we know that pubs will eventually be a part of the way out of this crisis and back to normality. Some are even offering themselves up as vaccine hubs, which drives home the fact losing them would do untold harm to our communities.”

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  • BBPA responds to tier update in England, urging Government to help pubs survive the bleakest of mid-winters

    23 December 2020

    Responding to the announcement today from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock that more areas will be moved into higher tier restrictions in England from 00.01am on 26th December, Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “The update on the virus and associated tier restrictions today is yet another blow to a sector already on its knees. It is clear that it is going to be the longest winter in living memory for Britain’s pubs and brewers. Unless there is a greater package of financial support from the Government to secure our pubs and the brewers that supply them, a wave of business failures in the New Year is inevitable. “We desperately need the Prime Minister to step up to the plate and commit to an enhanced package of measure for pubs and brewers. If the Government acts now they can still secure pubs and jobs by giving locals in England the sort of support those in Wales and Scotland are getting. Without this the outlook is very bleak indeed.”

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  • Festive woes: Pubs to serve at least 39 million fewer pints and 5 million fewer Christmas dinners over the festive period this year

    23 December 2020

    BBPA reveals it is expecting quietest Christmas on record this year for pubs, as they struggle to remain open over festive period due to punishing tier restrictions. The BBPA has today revealed the figures behind what it expects to be the quietest Christmas on record for pubs, with 39 million fewer pints and 5 million fewer Christmas dinners enjoyed in pubs over the festive period from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day. From Christmas Eve to Boxing Day, the trade association had forecast that just 2.6 million pints and 830,000 Christmas dinners would be served in Britain's pubs, though last weekend’s announcement will likely dampen these figures further with mass cancellations now almost inevitable. On a normal Christmas, it would usually expect as many as 41 million pints and 6 million Christmas dinners to be served. On Christmas Day alone, a key trading day for pubs, the BBPA says it estimates at best just 200,000 Christmas dinners and 630,000 pints will be served. Usually, it says, Christmas Day sales alone would exceed 1 million dinners and 10 million pints. The trade association said the stark figures show what impact the Government’s tier restrictions are having on pubs, strangling their ability to trade as viable businesses and survive. The recent review of tiers made a bad situation even worse, with 85% of British pubs now closed or unable to trade viably due to tier two and three restrictions. The need for an enhanced package of support for Britain’s pubs and brewers is now greater than ever with months of uncertainty ahead. It also said it highlighted how Christmas just will not be the same for many people this year as they won't be visiting their local to celebrate it. As popular venues for Christmas parties and celebrations, pubs would usually be fully booked for the Christmas period with Christmas menus and festive beer selections already in place to give pub goers the Christmas experience you could only get at the local. Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:  “This Christmas will be the quietest year on record for our pubs. The current restrictions were devastating enough but now with the introduction of tier four and a tightening of the rules over Christmas, consumer confidence will be hit further, leading to cancellations and greater financial woes for pubs and brewers “As the heart of the community year-round, but especially at Christmas time, it is such a shame our pubs will be so quiet or closed this Christmas. After such a difficult and challenging year, we all deserve to make the most of the Christmas break with the chance to safely enjoy a drink with family and friends at our local. Especially as our pubs need all the support they can get right now. “The Government has to recognise the damage that has been done, and do more to secure the future of pubs. That means grant support for pubs like those in Wales, which are as much as four times higher than for pubs in England facing similar restrictions. Failure by the Government to do this would be failing communities across the country whose local is vital to their wellbeing.” Are Kolltviet, licensee at the Chandos Arms in Colindale, said: “All Christmas plans have gone out the window for us this year. We were hoping to reopen for some drinks at least, if possible, but even that isn’t going to happen. This will hit us hard financially as, like most pubs, Christmas is our busiest time of year. A normal December we would take on average £15000 a week, and serve 3000 customers over the course of the whole month, but this year none of that will happen. I feel for our regulars too; they’ve lost part of their Christmas tradition and with it, some much needed community spirit.”

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