Pub trade warns of 2,000 closures without financial aid | Business news

A further 2,000 pubs are at risk of closing, threatening 25,000 jobs, unless the Chancellor helps the industry in this month’s Budget, according to an industry body.

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) cited research by Oxford Economics, which predicted 288 million fewer pints would be sold in the next financial year. cost of living crisis Dealing with the players is combined with the cost of the business crisis.

Sales volumes have already fallen as the squeeze on household finances forces more people to drink and eat at home.

The BBPA told Sky News that 450 sites were closed last year alone because of the power inflation accelerated, despite government support.

It has been in significant decline since 2000, with a quarter of pubs – 13,000 – being lost.

The BBPA used a statement to chancellor Jeremy Hunt, ahead of his Budget on March 15, to say financial support for publicans, breweries and staff training to retain workers was vital, arguing that the pub it is at the core of British society.

He pointed to rising energy, food and employment bills among the reasons the costs are unsustainable.

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“With cost pressures and a slowdown in consumer spending, coupled with a further duty rise in August, there are significant fears of widespread closures, with a worrying 2,000 pubs estimated to be at risk,” its statement said.

“And with the current Energy Bill Relief Scheme With support ending on March 31, many pubs and breweries will once again be subject to exploding bills that threaten to declare last orders once and for all.’

He said that one in three pounds spent in pubs currently reached the Treasury.

The BBPA’s wish list included a freeze in duty and a “significant increase” in the discount on draft beer sold in pubs.

Publican Emma Shepherd, who runs the Blue Ball Inn in Worrall near Sheffield with her husband, has campaigned for more financial help in the hospitality sector.

She described how rising energy prices had already forced her kitchen to close two days a week despite government support for energy costs.

The Blue Ball Inn is owned by Admiral Taverns and run by Emma and Carl Shepherd.  Photo: Blue Ball Inn
The Blue Ball Inn is owned by Admiral Taverns and run by Emma and Carl Shepherd. Photo: Blue Ball Inn

He warned that the prospect of any easing from April could mean they have to let staff go and close the kitchen.

“We’re in a perfect storm … working harder for less,” he explained, describing how beer, food and local regulations had added to their expenses.

“20% VAT on everything is a huge cost to small businesses working on small margins and the margins are getting smaller,” he said.

“The government welcomed the reduction in beer tax, but we’re not seeing a reduction at our end because brewers face the same energy costs as us.”

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA, said pubs in rural areas were at particular risk, leaving more communities facing the prospect of being without a local.

“This really is a make or break moment for our pubs and breweries,” he said.

“With everything that’s hitting them right now post-pandemic, recovery has been really, really hard and with cost inflation, labor shortages and high energy costs, we’re really struggling to get back on our feet as an industry. Without this intervention (from the government) we could lose 2,000 pubs and 25,000 jobs.”

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