Chancellor urged to consider new hospitality loan scheme

10 May 2021 by
Chancellor urged to consider new hospitality loan scheme

Rishi Sunak is being urged to encourage the full lifting of restrictions on 21 June and to consider a further loan scheme to prop up hospitality businesses struggling to get back to full trading.

In a letter to the chancellor, UKHospitality said that hospitality would need extra support measures if there was any slip in the current timetable. It added that access to capital was becoming a serious issue for operators, who were being denied further funding by banks, and called for a new targeted loan scheme.

Hospitality business have lost two-thirds of trade in the 12 months to April, equating to a fall of £80b.

Being permitted to open outside since 12 April has only made a slight difference to some operators too. According to data from CGA's Drinks Recovery Tracker, the Bank Holiday weekend was a washout for many operators who were able to open, with drinks sales on Sunday (2 May) down by 35% on the same Sunday in 2019 and down 66% on Bank Holiday Monday.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "The hospitality sector stands ready to play its part in helping to power the recovery, create jobs and reinvigorate local communities, but that will only be possible if our businesses return to viability at the earliest opportunity.

"Firstly, we need the government to deliver on its commitment to dropping Covid restrictions and measures on 21 June. But even then, many companies will be facing huge rent debts and other business costs, so access to capital through loans is critical to ensure they can get back on their feet again as soon as possible.

"The revitalisation of hospitality will yield a substantial return on investment – in terms of economic growth, employment, levelling up, high street regeneration and government revenues. Brighter days are ahead but we urge the Chancellor to ensure that his welcome and substantial support for the sector doesn't go to waste."

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