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Thu 28th Jan 2021 - Sector sales ‘fell by £200m per day’ in 2020, financial package vital to save businesses and jobs
Sector sales ‘fell by £200m per day’ in 2020, financial package vital to save businesses and jobs: Pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels lost almost £200m per day during 2020 as sales collapsed from £133.5bn in 2019 to £61.7bn in 2020, according to the latest UKHospitality and CGA Quarterly Tracker. UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls and CGA group chief executive Phil Tate have both called on the government to urgently deliver a package of financial support for the sector to ensure as many businesses and jobs as possible are saved. The tracker revealed a 54% drop in sales in 2020 – the equivalent of £8 per hour – for an industry that, in normal times, employs more than three million people and contributes many billions of pounds in tax to the Treasury. Recent CGA research indicated about 6,000 licensed premises in Britain closed permanently in 2020. Strict local and national restrictions on trading and socialising caused a particularly damaging drop in trade in the final quarter of the year, the tracker showed. Sales from October to December were worth just £14.3bn – down by £18.7bn or 57% on the last quarter of 2019. Nicholls said: “These figures are simply devastating. Hospitality was hit first, hit hardest and continues to suffer because of pandemic restrictions brought in. And sitting behind this massive loss of revenue is the dreadful, real impact on people’s lives and livelihoods across all parts of the sector and supply chain. It is also yet another stark reminder of the importance of having an exit strategy from the current lockdown and providing ongoing support for sector businesses. We need the chancellor to step up again in his forthcoming Budget to deliver a bold, wide-ranging package of financial support that ensures as many businesses and jobs as possible are saved and the sector returns to growth. An extension of the VAT cut and business rates holiday must be top of the menu.” Phil Tate, group chief executive of CGA, added: “With every week of restrictions, the sector loses more than £1bn of sales, hundreds of businesses and thousands of jobs. Widespread closures over December, the busiest time of year for so many restaurants, pubs and bars, were a devastating final blow in a year of unprecedented challenges.” 

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