Call for further extension of rates relief

UKHospitality, the British Beer & Pub Association and the BII are calling for government to extend the business rates holiday.

Hospitality trade bodies have warned that there is still a long way to go for businesses to recover from the devastating impacts of the pandemic.

UKHospitality, the British Beer & Pub Association and the BII are calling for government to extend the business rates holiday for at least a further three months to allow businesses to get back on their feet.

While the public have embraced the relaxation of lockdown rules, allowing them to reconnect safely in pub gardens across the UK, the trade bodies have warned that the majority of businesses are still in very real danger of failing.

Results from a recent survey of members from all three trade bodies showed that only 40% of pubs have been able to welcome customers back to their outside spaces, with turnover only expected to be 29% of that achieved over the same period in 2019. This is despite the hundreds of millions of pounds invested in outdoor areas and safety measures, at an average of over £8,000 per site.

Even when step three of the government's roadmap allows indoor drinking and dining for six people or two households, businesses are estimated to only reach 56% of turnover when compared to pre-pandemic figures.

Almost a quarter of those surveyed believe that their business will be unviable before the end of the year based on current trading estimates.

The trade bodies are calling for business rates to be cancelled completely in England for hospitality until October 2021, to allow businesses time to recover before yet another cost comes back online. This is an additional three months, with rates currently set to restart in July. In Scotland and Wales, hospitality has a full year of business rates holiday.

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