Will local pubs survive the pandemic?
- Normal pub facilities have been closed since 20 March
- The government says they could reopen on 4 July at the earliest but with strict social distancing rules
- The British Beer and Pub Association warns that thousands of pubs will not survive lockdown
As bar and cafe life begin to slowly return in other parts of the world, the restrictions here in the UK are going to last well in to summer.
It is clear that Coronavirus will have a lasting impact on small and independent businesses, with a warning issued that 19,000 pubs in the UK will not reopen.
The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) warned that “pub beer sales collapsed by 40% in March 2020” compared to the same time period in 2019.
— SkyNews (@SkyNews) May 11, 2020
Back in January, there had been cautious optimism in the industry when the ONS (Office for National Statistics) reported that the number of pubs had increased for the first time in over a decade.
Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said “Our ask to the Government is clear, recognise the real jeopardy facing the great British pub and act now to save it, or risk losing many locals and their communities forever.”
Ryan Merga works for the Old Original Bay Horse in Horwich and says that it is vital for the Government “to take action now” and help support local pubs with greater schemes.
“Without extra funding or a raise in the threshold for the grant support scheme, local businesses are not going to survive this pandemic.”
“The longer we have to wait for pubs to reopen, the more uncertainty we feel about our jobs surviving. It is not only going to have a lasting affect on us but also our communities who prefer to support their independent pub rather than a chain.”