The BII, the leading independent membership body representing individuals working in the licensed trade, has today released the results of its second survey of over 8,500 members, the majority of whom are licensees of pubs. Link
The report gives a snapshot of the real challenges faced by licensees since pubs were ordered to close on 20th March 2020. Despite the extensive financial support from Government and the potential restarting of the hospitality sector next month, the reality for many licensees is that their businesses are teetering on the edge of survival, with 1 in 4 pubs saying that they will not be able to reopen in July if social distancing remains at 2m. Chief Executive of the BII, Steven Alton commented: “We represent a diverse community of licensees and every one of their pubs face unique challenges. Many pubs will struggle to open at all, having traditional pub environments not designed for social distancing. Whilst a number of other pubs have been able to diversify their businesses and offer takeaways, deliveries and other services to local customers, the majority have made very little money through these activities, but were keen to contribute to their communities during lockdown. 18% of our members have had no access to grants as they have rateable values of £51k and over. These pubs, whilst slightly larger venues, are often your locals, who are really struggling to make ends meet during this lockdown. If there is one common thread running through the results of the survey, it is the uncertainty that our members are facing wherever they turn at the moment. They need clarity and support both locally and nationally to enable them to balance the health and safety of their staff and customers, their livelihoods and future survival, whilst still delivering a great pub experience.