CEO Steven Alton unpacks latest survey statistics
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Dear ,

The next few weeks will be critical for you, our members, and your businesses as we hear from the Government on the actual details for reopening your pubs. As expected there has been significant media speculation on this, much of it very unhelpful.

The Prime Minister will be announcing the roadmap to reopening the economy week commencing the 22nd of February followed by the Chancellor announcing the budget on the 3rd of March. Both are critical in ensuring that we are able to reopen profitably with the necessary package of support to allow your businesses to both reopen and recover.

Last week we shared with you, our members, the link to a survey we released alongside the other key Trade Bodies (BBPA and UK Hospitality), coordinated by CGA, one of the leading industry insight consultancies. The survey has just closed with an incredibly strong response particularly from you our members. We will now be sharing this insight directly with Government at all levels to ensure there is no doubt on what is needed to safeguard our great British pubs.

I wanted to share a couple of early results with you all ahead of the full survey results being published in the next few days. The conditions by which we reopen are critical to profitability. We continue to share directly with the Government teams the strength of the July reopening protocols backed by the Public Health England (PHE) data showing less than 3% of cases tracked to hospitality venues.

Whilst proven to be safe, the majority of pubs that re-opened were at best break-even due to the reduced capacity of their venues with Covid-Secure measures in place. The biggest impact of additional restrictions for many of you was being limited to a single household inside. This has been highlighted, through our recent survey, as the most detrimental to your businesses with 97% stating this would significantly negatively impact your trading or be unviable.

We absolutely understand that your businesses just want to trade free of restrictions, safely. Support is not just monetary packages, but ensuring Government understands the realities of how licensees are actually able to trade. We continue to directly engage Ministers and officials bringing your voice to them from those who actually run our nation’s pubs.

You also re-confirmed your top priorities for further business support essential to your recovery and we will continue to push for this support from the Chancellor. The top three priorities reconfirmed from BII members upon reopening are; extension of business rates holiday for 2021, VAT reduction extended beyond March for a further year, and for that VAT reduction to be applied to alcoholic beverages as well as food.

We will continue to directly engage Government at all levels to make the case why your professionally operated pubs should be trusted to open freely at the earliest opportunity. Also that essential Government financial support is an investment in viable local businesses, jobs and local suppliers as well as safeguarding pubs providing places where we can safely socialise and reconnect in our communities.

Thank you again for your overwhelming support with the survey and we will continue to do all we can to represent you, our members, at this critical time.

Steven Alton

BII is the trading name of the British Institute of Innkeeping a private company limited by guarantee and registered in England as a charity. Company number 1601185.
Charity number 283945.

Registered office Infor House, 1 Lakeside Road, Farnborough, GU146XP.

British Institute of Innkeeping, Infor House, 1 Lakeside Road, Farnborough, GU14 6XP, United Kingdom