Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has responded to the comments by Sage scientists that hospitality businesses should remain closed until May by suggesting that this would be a “devastating double whammy” for pubs and breweries.
The organisation said it was “absolutely critical” for the government to intervene with further support after the release of Market Recovery Monitor data from CGA and AlixPartners suggested that 6,000 licenced premises permanently closed in 2020.
, national chairman for CAMRA, commented that despite “little supporting evidence” and despite the government’s small business minister telling Parliament that the hospitality industry is “in itself not a vector for transmission” the sector continues to suffer the backlash of Covid-19.
He said: “If hospitality businesses are forced to stay closed for several months to come then we risk seeing thousands more pubs, and the local breweries that serve them, going bust.
“Not only is that devastating for local communities and jobs, it also means that all the taxpayers’ money that has been used to support these businesses so far could go down the pan.”
Antona reiterated that it was “absolutely critical” that the government brings forward a long-term financial support package for the beer and pub industry. As well as an extension on the business rates holiday, ongoing grants and furlough support as long as there are restrictions on trading, and extending the VAT cut on beer.