The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has responded to the news that tier three lockdown measures will be placed on South Yorkshire from Saturday 24 October, severely impacting 982 pubs and 17,900 sector jobs worth £302m 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, BBPA's Chief Executive, 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-lled 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.'
McClarkin continued, “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.
McClarkin finished, “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.”