Home Business News Pubs are hanging on by a thread and are looking to the Spring Budget for urgent help

Pubs are hanging on by a thread and are looking to the Spring Budget for urgent help

by Thea Coates Finance Reporter
23rd Feb 24 10:02 am

There is a need of “urgent support” for a quarter of hospitality industry firms as they have no cash reserves.

It’s no secret that Britain’s pubs generate a huge amount of value for local economies and communities. Yet in a constant battle against soaring energy prices while battling a recession, many are in fear of closure this year.

Pub landlords will be waiting with bated breath to hear what support they will receive from the chancellor in his Spring Budget on March 6.

It comes after the Simply Business SME Insights Report found that a quarter of small business owners fear they may be forced to cease trading if the outlook for their business does not improve.

Alan Thomas, the UK CEO at Simply Business, has outlined what pub  owners will be calling for in the context of energy as the Spring Budget draws near.

Thomas said, Following the recent news that more than 7,000 pubs are expected to go out of business within the next year*, Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business, sets out what this means for the UK’s Hospitality SMEs:

“Pubs are vital for our local communities and together with other small businesses across the UK, collectively contribute trillions of pounds to the economy. Set against the backdrop of a recession, we must do all we can to avoid further hospitality closures – and that starts with offering the support these small businesses so desperately need.

“Unprecedented high energy prices are one of the biggest challenges facing small businesses. With over a quarter of SMEs spending up to 40% more on energy each month compared to last year, small business owners are calling for the government to extend the energy bills discount scheme beyond March 2024 and provide some clarity and protection for non-domestic energy users.  Without this support, many small businesses, including pubs, will struggle to survive to see the next Spring Budget.”

Industry bosses are urging the Treasury to cut tax for the industry as there has also been an increase in cost pressures, a survey by UKHospitality, the British Beer and Pub Association, British Institute of Innkeeping and Hospitality Ulster has revealed.

In a joint statement, the industry groups said, “These results clearly show the perilous state our pubs, restaurants, hotels and cafes find themselves in.

“The fact that a quarter have run out of cash reserves completely is a real cause for concern.

“Those businesses are extremely vulnerable to the slightest shock forcing them to shut their doors for good.”

“If the Government want to avoid further inflationary price rises for the public and further closures across hospitality, they need to heed the message from our members to act now,” the bodies added.

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