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Government increases support for hospitality – but is it enough?

Posted: 22 October 2020 | | No comments yet

Industry has welcomed additional Government support for UK hospitality, but SIBA says small breweries are being left out.

craft-brewery

The UK Government says it will “significantly increase the generosity and reach of its winter support schemes” to help protect livelihoods across the UK in the coming months.

This extra support is being delivered in three ways:

  1. Open businesses experiencing extreme difficulty will be given financial help to maintain staff
  2. Business grants will cover those impacted by high-alert levels
  3. Grants for self-employed to be doubled to 40 percent of previous earnings.

Responding to the Chancellor’s latest support package for businesses, Tim Rycroft, Chief Operating Officer at the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) said: “Food and drink manufacturers supplying the hospitality industry will greatly welcome today’s significantly more generous announcement by the Chancellor. An extension of the Job Support Scheme (JSS) for those businesses that remain open will help ensure the survival of many food and drink businesses which supply the out-of-home and food service sectors.

“We await to see further details about which businesses in high-alert level areas will be able to apply for the new grant scheme, but we are pleased to see it will benefit our friends in hospitality at this difficult time.”

…the fact that small breweries are not automatically eligible is a hammer blow.

“This necessary and welcome support package will help thousands of pubs with tier two restrictions who otherwise faced devastation to their businesses,” added Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association. “The impact of restrictions has been immediate and deep on our sector, requiring an extensive response from Government.

Having called for more support for businesses in our sector struggling under tier two restrictions, we warmly welcome these measures from the Chancellor today.”

“I know that the introduction of further restrictions has left many people worried for themselves, their families and communities,” Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, stated. “I hope the Government’s stepped-up support can be part of the country pulling together in the coming months.”

However, The Society for Independent Brewers’ (SIBA) Chief Executive, James Calder, argues that small breweries are being overlooked.

Although this will help retain jobs in pubs and bars and the grants are welcome, Calder said, “the fact that small breweries are not automatically eligible is a hammer blow”.

He expanded: “Small breweries are part of the fabric of hospitality and Government should make all breweries automatically eligible for the £2,100 grants and JSS support as the rest of hospitality. Breweries who employ skilled people should not left at the mercy of discretionary grants which many didn’t get last time around.

“With breweries currently closing at an alarming rate across the UK time is running out for Government to step in and save the British pint, before it’s too late.”

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