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The British Beer and Pub Association has warned that up to 14,000 pubs might close if they do not open by the end of September'.
The Institute has previously reported on news that pubs and bars will be some of the last businesses to emerge from lockdown measures. The BPPA has now warned that unless public houses are supported by the government “thousands could be forced to shutter.”
As a priority, the British Beer and Pub Association is asking that the Government underwrites at least 75% of wages for all pub and brewing staff, enabling employers to pay staff during this period of uncertainty. It is estimated this would cost the government £1billion.
In addition, the British Beer and Pub Association is asking for the Government to cancel Excise Duty and VAT payments that pubs are due to pay on 25th March and 31st March respectively. This will enable pub operating companies across the country to redirect much needed cash directly into their businesses, helping to prevent closures and save jobs.
The industry is also urging the government to begin immediate distribution of the £10,000 and £25,000 government grants announced on 17 March, or underwrite them, to positively impact pubs’ cash flow.
British Beer and Pub Association CEO, Emma McClarkin commented:
“Pubs are in a crisis today. We need urgent intervention from the Government to prevent a catastrophic number of job losses and the sector damaged beyond repair. We recognise as a sector that we are in unprecedented times. We are prepared to play our part, but whilst we welcome the measures outlined so far by the Government, they do not deal with the immediate cash flow and liquidity crisis our industry faces now’. She continued, ‘As a sector, we stand ready to work with the Government on saving jobs and finding a solution. However, as a sector we cannot stress enough that the Government has just 24 hours to create a pub specific package to prevent irreversible closures and job losses. We have outlined to the Government the rescue package that is needed and stand ready to work with them to make it happen”