Latest restrictions a “significant blow” to brewers and pubs who need more Government support

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has responded to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care’s announcement that several areas in the North East of England would be placed under more stringent restrictions, calling it a “significant blow” but reiterating that the trade remains committed to working with the Government to control the spread of COVID-19.

“Our sector has been one of the hardest and longest hit by the pandemic. Pubs and brewers have worked tirelessly to get pubs safely open and stocked since July so this latest announcement is another significant blow. “Our data suggests that a third of pubs are still struggling to even break even which indicates that we are at a very delicate moment in our sector’s recovery. Consumer confidence is already very fragile and extra restrictions will inevitably have a further cooling effect on that, not only in the regions where they are in effect but also nationally.

It is vital that the Government recognises the unprecedented challenges that pubs and brewers are facing at this time. We are calling on them to immediately put in place a sector specific furlough scheme beyond October, extend the VAT cut and business rates holiday and make a substantial cut to the punitively high rate of beer duty in the Autumn Budget. These measures will help brewers and pubs work towards a safe and sustainable recovery.”

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