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Fri 4th Jun 2021 - Trade bodies join forces to tell government the sector’s ability to be at heart of recovery is in jeopardy
Trade bodies join forces to tell government the sector’s ability to be at heart of recovery is in jeopardy: Trade bodies have joined forces to tell the government the sector’s ability to be at the heart of the UK’s recovery is in jeopardy. The British Institute of Innkeeping, British Beer & Pub Association and UKHospitality have written to the chancellor and the secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy Kwasi Kwarteng to highlight the critical business impact of uncertainty surrounding the move to step four of the covid roadmap. The letter outlines how that uncertainty is exacerbating workforce challenges, with workers unconfident the hospitality and pub sector are a stable sector for careers. It also conveys the additional staffing costs incurred due to current restrictions such as table ordering and additional test and trace requirements. Confirming that the sector remains passionate about creating accessible and skilled jobs across the UK, the letter explains the sector’s ability to do this is now in jeopardy. Key points from the letter stated include: one in four of hospitality businesses – 26,500 venues – remain closed due to legal restrictions, and those that are trading are delivering revenues at 63% of normal pre-covid levels; each further month of trading at reduced capacities reduces revenues by a further £3bn, undermining the sustainability of businesses and putting jobs at risk; and the sector has seen closures of 12,000 hospitality businesses during the past year, which is one in ten restaurants and one in five town centre casual dining and late-night bars. A spokesperson for the trade associations said: “The government is assessing potential risks around removing all restrictions on 21 June and we urge them to follow their own roadmap, if the data supports it, and to allow the hospitality and pub sector to open free of restrictions. We urge them to fully consider the significant risk that a delay would result in business failures and job losses in every community across the UK. Our members’ businesses are extremely fragile and only the dropping of restrictions and the extension of the business rates holiday in England until April 2022, will enable them to snap back at the heart of the economic recovery.”

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