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24th September 2020

British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) calls for long term support for pubs whilst long term restrictions are in place

‘Long term sector specific restrictions will need to be matched by long term sector specific Government support’ stated Steven Alton, CEO of the BII, in response to the confirmation of additional restrictions on pubs this week.

Writing to the Chancellor yesterday, he made the case for further investment to safeguard the future of our nation’s pubs. He reiterated the consistent message from the pub industry that a sector specific package of support will be required, including extension of furlough to prevent further widespread redundancies, a long term extension of VAT at 5% to encourage trading and a further payment holiday on business rates until 2022 to allow pubs to plan their recovery.

Alton stated “the impact of further restrictions on pubs who have delivered extensive changes to venues to protect their staff and customers has two key impacts;  restricting already significantly reduced levels of trade, with the majority of pubs not making a profit, and severely undermining critical consumer confidence.”

The BII’s over 9,000 members run pubs across the UK and are greatly concerned about their futures.

Kelly McCarthy CBII, Licensee, Ye Old Sun Inn, Licensee of the Year 2013

“Pubs have done more than any other sector to make our venues Covid-secure for our staff and customers. The further restrictions are devastating to our already struggling businesses and, as we stare at the very lean trading period ahead, the future is bleak.  The mixed messages for consumers are so damaging and we need support from Government, both financially and with positive messages to consumers that our pubs are the safest place to socialise in our communities.”

Anthony Pender CBII, Licensee and Co-founder, Yummy Pubs

“The speculation ahead of further restrictions being implemented has already resulted in a further drop in trade of over 20% vs last year.  Consumer confidence is being massively undermined, particularly in our city centre pubs where trade is down by 80% and is not sustainable.  It is critical that we get Government support whilst these restrictions are in place and also a long term repayment plan for CBILS and Bounce Back loans, recognising that recovery will be a long road.”

David Hage FBII, Licensee and Co-owner of Secret Pub Company, BII Licensee of the Year 2019

“My team has worked so hard to rebuild our business over recent weeks and now with trade dropping off a cliff we are staring at significantly reduced hours for them.  As the business owner I cannot see how with increasing costs including rent, we can survive with significantly reduced income through the impact of further measures.  Government must support us through this critical period with a package of support.”


Notes to the editor: 

About the British Institute of Innkeeping:

 The BII is the leading independent licensee support organisation for individuals working in hospitality, with over 9,000 individual members running premises across the UK – predominantly tenanted, leased, managed and freehold pubs. The organisation provides integral helplines, online business support, and guidance on key industry issues, face-to-face networking opportunities and savings on a range of supply deals for its members.

For further information please contact:

Molly Davis,