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3rd July 2024

Experts give final insight on the future of hospitality days before election

Kyle Eaton, business loans expert, comments on what the General Election could mean for the hospitality industry:

“Ahead of July’s highly anticipated General Election, businesses across the country are preparing for a period of change and uncertainty. The upcoming election has the potential to implement legislation that will directly impact the operating environment for businesses in the hospitality industry in particular.

“The different political parties are offering varying levels of support and potential benefits for the industry. UKHospitality’s policy recommendations for the government include fixing business rates with a permanently reduced rate for hospitality and tourism, and reforming the Apprenticeship Levy.

“The industry body is also calling for planning reform to allow more hospitality-led regeneration of towns and cities, as well as calling for VAT review and reform to bring the UK in line with European rivals.

“Following a flood of party manifestos launches, the hospitality sector has secured commitments including:

  • The Conservative Party has pledged to examine the evening economy and lessen the burden of business rates on the industry. This could help reduce the rate of bar and club closures that have been hit by rising costs and reduced consumer spending  in recent years.

  • The Labour Party has pledged to overhaul the Apprenticeship Levy and replace business rates. Reforming the Apprentice Levy would support recruitment and training in hospitality, resulting in more job opportunities and skilled, long-term workers.

  • The Liberal Democrats have pledged to upgrade the status of tourism in government with a dedicated Minister of State for Tourism and Hospitality to offer more support for businesses.

  • The Green Party has pledged to reduce the rate of hospitality VAT, which could result in lower prices for consumers, encouraging more spending and profit in the industry.

“The hospitality industry has been grappling with rising costs and ongoing economic uncertainties, which has resulted in looming threats of closure for many businesses. The industry’s current financial difficulties have a substantial impact on the lives of countless workers and threaten the vitality of British communities.

“The policies that industry leaders are calling on the government to implement are critical measures towards reducing the financial load on hospitality businesses and avoiding more closures.

“Whether a hotel, restaurant, or bar, most in the sector are facing similar financial challenges when it comes to cash flow. Whilst it’s certainly not the easiest time to operate in the sector, there are alternative methods to accessing capital and keeping the business afloat – by securing bank loans or credit cards which allow structured and manageable repayment terms.

“Borrowing money responsibly during a challenging period can allow hospitality businesses to maintain financial stability, manage risk, and support business growth without intervention from external investors or market conditions.

“While often just a temporary solution, these actions could save many businesses in the coming weeks and months until new government support policies come into force following the General Election.”

You can find a Word document of the comment and some supporting royalty-free imagery in this Dropbox folder here.

Contact: Harry Judd

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