'Too many' local authorities not paying grants to pubs 'quickly enough'
New research by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has revealed that there are many parts of the country where pub businesses are yet to receive grant funding from local authorities to help them survive the Covid-19 lockdown.
The research found that in Birmingham, which has 418 pubs, only 11% of eligible businesses have been paid their grants, as well as only 17% in Manchester, which has 399 pubs, and 22% in Brighton, which has 251 pubs.
Meanwhile, Winchester, which has 122 pubs, has paid 100% of grants to eligible businesses; Redcar and Cleveland, which has 108 pubs, has paid 98% of grants; and Southwark in London, which has 198 pubs, has paid 93%.
The UK government announced its grant support scheme in March whereby pubs and other businesses with rateable values below £15,000 and £51,000 would receive grants of £10,000 and £25,000 respectively to help see them through the coronavirus crisis.
However, the BBPA says in some areas the system has been "slow and sluggish", with grant support "critical" considering it has been said pubs will be ‘among the last' to exit the lockdown.
The BBPA is pressing the government and local authorities to up the delivery of their grant payments or risk the closure of pubs and the loss of thousands of jobs.
Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: "Our research shows that too many local authorities are not paying grants to pubs and other hospitality businesses anywhere near quickly enough. For smaller pub businesses in particular this grant funding is urgently needed.
"This needs to be rectified immediately. Otherwise, pubs will close for good and the thousands of people they employ will lose jobs.
"Credit must go to those local authorities who are doing the right thing and getting their grants to pubs and other businesses quickly. We need the local authorities to learn from best practice and get the urgently needed support to pub businesses as a matter of urgency."
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