More than 800 pubs permanently closed during the pandemic, prompting calls for long-term support from government from BBPA

The Staff Canteen

BBPA has called for the government to provide long-term support to hospitality as it claims 800 pubs permanently closed across the UK during the pandemic

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has written to chancellor Rishi Sunak calling for long-term support to be given to the hospitality sector to ensure its ability to recover.

In the letter, the BBPA urged the government to extend the energy price cap to small businesses in order to mitigate the current cost of energy crisis. Additionally, they called for an extension of a 12.5 percent VAT rate for food and drinks, a request that an inquiry by the All Party Parliamentary Group and the British public support. The BBPA would like to see the lower VAT rate made permanent.

The BBPA also requested that the government bring forward proposals for a fairer business rates system, so that they can be enacted sooner.

This letter comes after a study by Oxford Economics calculated that during Covid, more than 800 pubs have closed down permanently. This is despite the not insignificant amount of investment into the sector the government did to try and avoid just this.

Trading levels have still not returned to pre-pandemic levels and costs are rising sharply at the same time as key financial support measures are now being withdrawn. Along with this, according to the BBPA, confidence among pub-goers remains fragile.

In the letter, Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA, said, “Our sector can deliver jobs and additional economic value in every part of the UK. We are at the heart of communities fostering social cohesion as we reconnect and recover."

She also called on the government to listen to the BBPA's Long Live the Local campaign and support the sector during this energy crisis.

"Pre-covid, our businesses were already operating under tight margins due to the disproportionate tax burden that we face. As we come out of the pandemic it is crucial this is redressed to ensure business not only survives but indeed returns to sustainable growth, which will, in turn, support the Levelling Up and High Streets agendas.”

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 18th March 2022

More than 800 pubs permanently closed during the pandemic, prompting calls for long-term support from government from BBPA