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Hospitality groups demand business rates relief extension

20th April 2021

Some of the UK’s hospitality trade bodies, including the British Beer and Pub Association, the British Institute of Innkeeping and UKHospitality, have called for total business rates relief to be extended for at least another three more months.

Despite many venues re-opening outside from the 12th April, the majority of the sector is still crippled by lockdown restrictions. There is still perceived to be a long way to go before pubs, restaurants and cafés are able to reach pre-pandemic levels of trade.

A recent survey by the research and insights company, CGA, confirmed that only 40% of pubs were able to welcome back customers and turnover is expected to be less than a third of that achieved around the same time in 2019.

Additionally, turnover figures are not expected to climb higher than c. 56% of pre-pandemic levels once indoor seating is permitted. On this basis, around a quarter of the respondents believe their business will be unviable by the end of the year.

The hospitality trade bodies have therefore called for total business rates relief to be extended through to the end of September to protect these vulnerable businesses. Currently, this relief is partial (33%) from the start of July 2021 through to the end of March 2022.

The group call and the results from the CGA survey did not surprise to CTA Founder, Peter Bell, who stated that:

“As suspected, business will not return to ‘normal’ for many months yet. Landlords should also take heed when negotiating with their customers (tenants) – there needs to be a phased approach proportionate to the real recovery of every business in every sector.

There needs to be further support for landlords and tenants from the Government as the 30th June moratoria cliff-edge approaches.”

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