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  • Bank holiday beer garden blow: Pubs to lose 10 million pint bank holiday weekend boost due to lockdown  

    22 May 2020

      Bank holiday weekend of good weather and FA Cup Final, which would’ve seen Brits flock to pubs and their beer gardens, adds to woes of pubs in lockdown FA Cup Final alone would have boosted beer sales by 2 million pints on Saturday alone BBPA calls for bank holiday in October to “replace” May bank holidays   The upcoming bank holiday weekend (Saturday 23rd to Monday 25th May) is to add to the woes of pubs who’ve had to shut for the COVID-19 lockdown. The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has revealed that pubs will lose a boost to beer sales totalling as much as 10 million extra pints over the bank holiday weekend compared with a normal weekend as a direct result of the lockdown. With good weather expected across the duration of the bank holiday weekend, reaching as high as 24C on Monday afternoon, Brits would have typically flocked to their local pub beer garden to soak up the sun and enjoy the weekend under normal circumstances – boosting sales by up to 10 million pints. Furthermore, the weekend would have included the FA Cup Final on the Saturday – a key sporting event in the calendar for pubs that would have also drawn customers in to revel in the unique matchday experience that can only be found in the local. According to the BBPA, the FA Cup Final on Saturday alone would have contributed 2 million pints of the overall 10 million pint boost. Pubs were the first businesses to be ordered to shut down by the Government all the way back in March, and could be amongst the last to re-open as lockdown restrictions are lifted for them from July 4th as part of the Government’s third phase of re-opening. The BBPA has re-iterated though that not all pubs will reopen from July as many won’t be able to meet the social distancing measures required by then. No two pubs are the same and for many, ensuring a distance of two metres will be impossible, keeping them closed for much longer. The trade association has therefore proposed using advice and guidance from the World Health Organisation from July, which suggests using one metre for social distancing as opposed to two metres. This, it says, would help pubs to re-open viably and serve their communities again – by significantly increasing the number of pubs that could re-open by 120%. Pubs are already looking at operating plans and preparing additional safety protocols to reassure staff and customers they can create a safe socialising environment. It has also stated that pubs with beer gardens or outside terraces should be best placed to meet social distancing restrictions required for re-opening from July 4th, or maybe even open pub beer gardens earlier if Government allows, enabling people to enjoy their local community pub’s beer garden in the summer sun. The trade association estimates that there are some 27,000 pubs across the UK with beer gardens – more than half of the UK’s 47,000 pubs in total. There has also been speculation that Government is considering introducing more flexibility for pubs, restaurants and bars to use other outside space including pavements and could also be given permission to sell food and drink from street stalls outside their premises in the coming weeks. To help steer the reopening of Britain’s pubs, the trade association is also to work in partnership with the Government through its pubs and restaurants taskforce. It will offer its expertise and insights to the taskforce, including through offering assistance with pilot schemes, to help ensure pubs re-open safely for staff and customers and under conditions that are operationally viable. Tourism businesses including pubs and brewers have also welcomed suggestions of an additional bank holiday in October to “replace” those they have not been able to take full advantage of this month. The Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Parliamentary committee has written to the Government suggesting such a bank holiday, which the BBPA welcomes. Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “This bank holiday weekend would usually bring a much needed boost to our sector – as many as 10 million extra pints could have been sold in pubs. With such good weather, Brits would normally flock to their local pub beer garden to make the most of the sunshine. “The FA Cup Final, which would have taken place this weekend, would have boosted pub beer sales by 2 million pints on Saturday alone. “We’re all looking forward to pubs re-opening so we can catch-up with friends, families and neighbours over a beer once we are through this crisis. Those pubs with beer gardens and outside terraces are best placed to meet social distancing restrictions to open from July 4th. “We are working with Government to consider all the possible options for our nations pubs to reopen safely and viably as soon as is possible. “We welcome the idea of an additional bank holiday in October and support any Government help to boost the speed of recovery of pubs and breweries.”

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  • UK’s 27,000 pubs with beer gardens should be amongst the first to re-open, says BBPA

    21 May 2020

    Over half of UK’s pubs have beer gardens making them best placed to meet social distancing guidelines and re-open The British Beer & Pub Association, the leading trade body representing the UK’s brewers and pubs, has said that those pubs with beer gardens should be amongst the first to re-open after lockdown. It says that pubs with beer gardens or outside terraces should be best placed to meet social distancing restrictions required for re-opening from July 4th, enabling people to enjoy their local community pub’s beer garden in the summer sun. The trade association estimates that there are some 27,000 pubs across the UK with beer gardens – more than half of the UK’s 47,000 pubs in total. The BBPA has previously welcomed the news that pubs could re-open as part of phase three of the Government’s roadmap which starts from 4th July at the earliest. However, it has stated that more clarity is needed on the conditions pubs will need to re-open under in July and that Government must recognise that many pubs may not be able to meet the safety criteria and so be forced to stay closed beyond that date. To help steer the reopening of Britain’s pubs, the trade association is to work in partnership with the Government through its pubs and restaurants taskforce. It will offer its expertise and insights to the taskforce, including through offering assistance with pilot schemes, to help ensure pubs re-open safely for staff and customers and under conditions that are operationally viable. There has also been speculation that Government is considering introducing more flexibility for pubs, restaurants and bars to use other outside space including pavements and could also be given permission to sell food and drink from street stalls outside their premises in the coming weeks. Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “We want to explore all opportunities for our nations pubs to reopen safely and viably as soon as is possible. We are working with Government to consider all the possible options for re-opening pubs as soon as we can in a safe and viable way whilst meeting the required social distancing restrictions. “The 27,000 pubs in the UK with beer gardens will be amongst the best placed to re-open under social distancing conditions and so should be amongst the first to reopen. This would let people enjoy their local community pub’s beer garden in the summer sun.”

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  • Expanding CLBILs up to £200 million welcome, but faster delivery and more help still needed for smaller businesses

    19 May 2020

    British Beer & Pub Association calls for more support to be delivered to smaller pub businesses quickly, as they continue to struggle with access to Government finance support The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the leading trade association representing Britain’s brewers and pubs, has today welcomed the extension of the maximum loan size available through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme from £50 million to £200 million. The expanded loans will be available from the 26th May to large firms who do not qualify for the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) or have enough finance to meet cashflow needs during lockdown. The decision comes after the BBPA campaigned for the Government to expand access to finance, following a survey of its members which found that only 25% of pub operators and brewers had received confirmation that their application for a loan had been succesful. However, whilst welcoming the expansion of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the trade association re-iterated that far greater access to financial support is still needed for smaller pub businesses and individual operators. In a survey of its members, the BBPA found that only 11% of applications made by individual pub lesses and tenants for a Government backed loan had been successful. The trade association is therefore continuing to press the Government to speed up the delivery of finance to smaller pub businesses and individual publicans. It is also continuing to campaign for the Government to provide additional support to Britain’s pubs and brewers who are amongst those most affected by the COVID-19 lockdown. Specifically by removing the £51k rateable value cap on grant eligibility to open funds up to 10,000 more pubs, as well as giving further support to brewers of all sizes through beer duty relief. Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “We welcome the expansion of loans for large businesses from £50 million to £200 million. We hope it will help those larger businesses in the beer and pub industry who haven’t been able to get access to finance as readily as hoped during this crisis so far. “Issues still clearly remain though with the speed of delivery of support for pub and brewing businesses of all sizes. It is clear these loans, as well as other Government support such as grants, need to be delivered much more quickly and expanded to more pub and brewing businesses to help get them through this period. “The UK’s 47,000 pubs urgently need more support and for it to arrive quickly. The Government must deliver it now.”

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  • 70 million pints of spoilt beer to be thrown away due to COVID-19

    15 May 2020

    British Beer & Pub Association calls on more support from Government to make up for sector losses and help with recovery As many as 70 million pints of British beer from UK pubs will have to be destroyed after they were forced to shut due to COVID-19. Pubs were amongst the very first businesses to be shut down due to COVID-19 in the UK, having been ordered to shut on March 20th. They will not open until 4th July at the earliest according to the Government’s recently published roadmap. That time period will mean that much of the beer left in storage in pubs will be spoiled by the time they re-open. The British Beer & Pub Association calculated the figures based on its database of the UK’s 47,000 pubs and estimating they had on average ten taps dispensing beer each. Although the Government has said that the duty paid on the wasted beer can be claimed back by brewers and pubs, it is still an enormous task for the industry and heart-breaking to see so much British beer, brewed with supreme skill and care, poured away rather than enjoyed in pubs across the UK. The British Beer & Pub Association said that some of the beer that cannot be sold has already been used for other purposes, with brewers of British beer actively finding other ways to use the beer so it doesn’t get wasted completely. This has seen unsaleable beer being used as feed for anaerobic digesters to create organic fertiliser for farming, as well as beer reused as animal feed – helping to support other sectors through the COVID-19 crisis. Overall though, the BBPA said that the unusable beer and loss of sales due to the COVID-19 lockdown has had a devastating impact on the UK’s pubs. Whilst it believes that pubs should only open when safe to do so, without further additional support for them – particularly those who won’t be able to re-open soonest – many pubs and the brewers that supply them with beer will struggle to survive closure and beyond it said. The trade association is therefore calling on the Government to increase its support by: Removing the £51,000 rateable value cap for business grants Give further grant support to pubs until they can reopen Improving accessibility and eligibility for loans so that pubs and brewers can access necessary funds to survive Giving additional support to brewers of all shapes and sizes through beer duty deferment Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “It’s a great shame that so much great British beer that should have been enjoyed in community pubs up and down the country has gone to waste. People won’t have a chance to drink it as it will go off before pubs can re-open. “Whilst it is good news that some of the beer can be re-used to help out other sectors affected by COVID-19, such as farming, it is still sad that people are unable to enjoy this beer. “The need to destroy so much beer really shows how much our brewing and pub sectors have been affected by this crisis. We believe that pubs should only open when safe to do so, but without additional support now – particularly for those who won’t be able to re-open sooner – many more of our nation’s pubs and the brewers that supply them with beer will struggle to survive closure and beyond. The Government needs to give our sector much more support.”

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  • British Beer & Pub Association to support new taskforce for pubs and restaurants

    13 May 2020

    Trade association will be contributing its expertise and intelligence to new taskforce to help pubs re-open after COVID-19 lockdown The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has today welcomed the creation of five new ministerial-led taskforces to develop plans for how and when closed sectors can reopen safely, following publication of the UK’s roadmap to rebuild Britain. One of the new taskforces will specifically look at pubs and restaurants and will be led by the Department for Business, Energy and industrial Strategy (BEIS). Its objective will be to get intelligence and expert input from the pub trade – with contributions from the BBPA – to create secure relevant sectoral guidelines in line with public health directions. The British Beer & Pub Association is already working very closely with BEIS on the support pubs and brewers need through this crisis, and for re-opening, and looks forward to continuing this relationship and offering its expert advice by further contributing to the new taskforce. Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:   “We greatly welcome the creation of this taskforce for pubs and restaurants and will be providing our expertise to help our sector to open as safely and quickly as possible. “As an organisation that already works closely with the Department for Business, Energy and industrial Strategy, we look forward to continuing our work with them to ensure the recovery of our sector. “In contributing to the taskforce we aim to get pubs on track for reopening as soon as possible. We will be sharing all our intelligence and expertise on the beer and pub sector. We will also provide pubs for pilot testing of new COVID-19 secure guidelines. “We believe that pubs should only open when safe to do so, but without additional support now – particularly for those who won’t be able to re-open sooner – many more of our nation’s pubs and the brewers that supply them with beer will struggle to survive closure and beyond. We’ll therefore continue to press the Government for the ongoing support our sector needs.”

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  • Beer and Pub sector issues challenge to insurers to meet their obligation to the sector, as industry surveys reveal almost total failure of business interruption cover in response to COVID-19

    13 May 2020

    The trade associations representing Britain’s beer and pub sector have issued a joint call to Insurers to work with them to provide further support for pubs and breweries hit by the COVID-19 lockdown. The British Beer and Pub Association, British Institute of Innkeeping, Society of Independent Brewers and UK Hospitality have signed a joint letter to the Association of British Insurers following research which indicates that as few as 4% of businesses in the sector have made successful insurance claims following the COVID-19 lockdown. The group is calling for an urgent meeting with Insurers ahead of legal actions which may already be planned. The letter reads: “As trade associations representing 50,000 pub businesses and 2,000 brewers, our members are grappling with the commercial implications of the lockdown triggered in response to COVID-19. “We have come together in a concerted effort to mitigate the most damaging aspects of the lockdown for our businesses and have presented a unified voice to Government in calling for a comprehensive package of measures to sustain our sector, protect jobs & livelihoods and safeguard our great British pubs. Within this context of a national, collaborative effort across our entire supply chain there has been one notable omission - insurance companies. We had hoped insurers would work with us at this critical time. With one or two exceptions, the collective failure of insurers to step up and meet their obligations has been deeply disappointing. The vast majority of our pub sector businesses have taken a policy including business interruption, with a clear expectation that a material disruption to their business through events beyond their control would be covered.  Industry survey data has found that only 1% of hospitality businesses, 3% of BII members, and 4% of BBPA member companies have received a positive response from their insurer.  In normal circumstances this would be unacceptable, in this crisis it is frankly deplorable and threatens business survival for thousands of pub businesses. “We are aware of legal actions pending but in advance of these cases proceeding we would urge the insurance companies’ senior executives to agree to meet with us to discuss and lead a constructive way forward at the earliest possible opportunity.  With additional lockdown measures planned for our sector and further material disruption to our businesses likely, the compensation owed to our pub, brewery and broader hospitality businesses has become an even more urgent matter. We look forward to hearing from you at the earliest opportunity.”   Stephen Gould, Managing Director or Everards Brewery and Chairman of the Industry One Voice Group said: “It is vital that insurers come to the table and play their part in supporting the beer and pub sector at this critical time.”   Steve Alton, Chief Executive of the British Institute of Innkeeping said: “Barely any of our pub businesses have had their insurance claims successfully processed. Whilst we welcome the fact that the Financial Conduct Authority is seeking legal clarity, further action is needed now if we are to safeguard pub businesses.”   Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UK Hospitality said: “Our member survey revealed that only 3% of our members had claimed successfully through their business interruption insurance cover. This is unacceptable and leaves many businesses facing real difficulties.”   Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association said: “Brewers and Pub operators have largely failed to get support from their insurers at this time of real crisis for our sector. It is imperative that the leading insurance businesses in this country engage with our sector to find a way forward.”

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