Hospitality industry says, that they have been robbed
By: Raf Fabisz
Photo author: Rohan Reddy
Businesses had been closed since March last year and had planned a full season of events over the next few weeks, which now they will have to cancel, losing thousands of pounds in revenue. A Birmingham nightclub and live music venue owner, David Whittall now has no way to pay the bills in June, he said. • Lockdown in England extended to 19 July • Delay to have 'critical impact' on business "The sold-out events that we had booked in - that's what was going to get us through because we would have made revenue, we would have had profit, we would have been able to pay our bills. Now we don't have anything," Mr Whittall says. He emphasises the need of financial support to be announced by the government. It must, however be a faster and organised processes than the Culture Recovery, “because it takes too long to get the money". "If we don't get financial support, I don't want to think about what the alternative is," he says.
Figures “For many licensees, the situation is desperate because Covid restrictions are massively hindering pubs from trading profitably - if the regulations have to continue then we need the government to step in and offer extra support to the hospitality industry," says Chris Jowsey who is the chief executive of community pub firm Admiral Taverns, which has more than 1,000 pubs across the UK. "Licensees are losing money because they are having to hire extra staff members to cope with restrictions like table service and social distancing." Four additional weeks of restrictions will cost pubs £400m. It says pubs must be allowed to "open properly" on 19 July, warns The British Beer and Pub Association. A spokesman for the Treasury said: "We are committed to helping businesses and individuals through the pandemic and deliberately went long with our support to provide certainty over the coming months. "The furlough scheme and support for the self-employed is in place until September and eligible businesses will continue to benefit from business rates relief of 75% over the year, VAT cuts and the Recovery Loan Scheme." Indoor venues will incur substantial losses over the next month. The postponement of 21 June "freedom day" has crippled businesses’ long-term confidence to plan staffing, stocking and revitalising their venues. The message from the government is that the support package they put in place at the Budget already accounted for this eventuality. The furlough scheme has begun a slow phase-out, whereas in many other similar countries, employer contributions are already required, or the schemes have ended. Ministers also point at the strength of the economic bounce-back and record hiring and vacancy statistics. But that will come as little comfort to industries now shut for 15 months, such as nightclubs. Local authorities have yet to allocate £1bn, about half of the discretionary fund.
A total of 20 events, which could include the British F1 Grand Prix and the Challenge Cup final, are to be added to the third stage of the government’s Events Research Programme despite the continuing growth of a third wave of Covid-19. England’s first two group stage matches are also part of this “research programme” with current caps lifted to allow a potential 22,500 into the ground. For the semi-finals and the final – due to take place on 6, 7 and 11 July – the rules will be further eased, allowing the stadium to be half-full with crowds of around 45,000. Fans entering the test events have to show proof of a negative Covid test or carry a “vaccine passport” showing they have been fully protected against the disease.
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