The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) has conducted a survey of licensees to discover the reality of accessing Government grant support for their pubs. With results varying wildly from one local authority area to another, the consistency of delivery of these vital funds has given a further challenge to cash strapped licensees. The overly complex requirements for applying for these funds, has meant that less than 1 in 4 pubs have received the full payment of grants they were entitled to during the Autumn and Winter months of 2020. In particular, the grants designed to support pubs who could still open, but with very severe restrictions on their trade, (Local Restrictions Support Grant – OPEN) have caused confusion in local authorities and a delay or even denial of funds for the licensees who have had little or no income in 2020. In addition, 1 in 7 licensees have yet to receive a single payment into their banks from grants they are entitled to.
“The other clear message is that our pubs need a full package of measures to support their recovery going forwards. 80% of our respondents believe cancellation of Business Rates for 2021/22 is critical to enable them to plan for the survival of their pubs once they are allowed to reopen. Similarly, 64% believe it is also critical to continue the reduction of VAT at 5% for the rest of the year, whilst almost as many believe this reduction should also apply to alcohol served in their venues.