The furlough scheme must be extended for the hospitality sector following the new coronavirus restrictions, says MHA MacIntyre Hudson.
Chris Sutton, partner at MHA MacIntyre Hudson, says there is a risk all the hard work done to revive the hospitality sector will be undone: “The new restrictions set to be implemented by the government are potentially devastating for the hospitality sector, particularly as we move into the colder months, restricting the use of outside spaces. The hospitality sector has worked very hard to get establishments open again, and the restricted opening hours, on top of the rule of six, are a real blow.
“The restrictions bring an added sting to the end of the furlough scheme. There will be a lot more job losses in the sector in the coming months. The advice to work from home where possible will leave city centres deserted again, just as we were starting to see some pickup in city centre trade from workers returning to the office.
“The new restrictions mean the sector urgently needs further support. The sector is going to need help for the period the new measures are in force in order to alleviate the cash flow pressure they will bring. Relief measures will then need to cover some further months to provide time for recovery. Options include an extension to the furlough scheme, continuing the VAT reduction announced in the July statement and potentially another round of Eat-Out-To-Help-Out. The extension of the furlough scheme followed by a rerun of the Eat-Out-To-Help-Out when conditions permit would be ideal.”