Quarter of hospitality businesses likely to collapse without support, survey finds

One quarter of hospitality businesses believe they may collapse in the next three months if they do not receive further government support, according to the latest survey from industry leaders.

Pub and hospitality trade bodies, British Beer and Pub Association, UKHospitality and British Institute of Innkeeping, held a survey of members of all three trade associations before the new national restrictions were announced yesterday.

The survey found that one in eight hospitality staff have already been made redundant, with more losses expected at the end of October.

On average, businesses surveyed said they believed that their workforce will be 25% lower by February 2021 compared to February this year, amounting to a total of 675,000 jobs lost in the sector in the course of a year.

7% of respondents reported feeling optimistic for the hospitality industry in the face of the coming year. This is a sharp decrease from previous months – in August 23% and in July 19% answered affirmatively to the same question.

Following new restrictions for the sector announced earlier this week, the trade bodies are now warning of a further 540,000 job losses, saying that the new 10pm curfew and table service only rules will “only make the situation worse.”

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA, said: “An immediate stimulus package is required for our sector in the form of an extension to the furlough scheme and business rates relief, plus continuation of the VAT cut to food and soft drinks and a significant cut to the UK’s excessively high beer duty.”

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, added: “The additional restrictions announced this week place even further burdens on a sector that is operating with razor-thin margins and needs all the help it can get. It is vital that these restrictions are reviewed regularly.

“We also need the government to step in now and help to deal with the rent debt that has built up over months of enforced lockdown.”

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