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, BBPA's Chief Executive, 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.'
McClarkin continued, “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.'
McClarkin concluded, “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.”