Covid-19 / Scotland / 09 December 2020

Decision to Keep Edinburgh in Level 3 Costs Pubs £3.2M

The Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) has today said that the decision to keep the City of Edinburgh in Level 3, despite the indicators showing continued improvement, could cost pub businesses up to £3.2m in lost turnover if there’s no change before January.

Currently, SBPA analysis suggests that only 92 pubs in the city are open in Level 3, if moved to Level 2 that would increase to 277 (60% of Edinburgh’s pubs and bars).

Commenting, SBPA CEO Emma McClarkin said:

“The decision yesterday to keep Edinburgh in Level 3 was absolutely heartbreaking for the 185 pubs and bars that would otherwise have been able to open and start rebuilding their trade. The Christmas and New Year periods are critical to the year-round viability of many of these businesses, and if there’s no movement at the next review point, we’ll likely see some of these pubs never reopen.

“We estimate that £3.2 million in turnover could be lost in the city alone between now and January 1st. This will undoubtedly result in jobs losses and a knock-on impact through the supply-chain at the worst possible time.  These businesses have invested significantly in their premises to ensure that they are COVID-secure, it is simply unfair to keep moving the goal posts on them.

“Level 2 still presents significant viability challenges, particularly on the time restrictions, but at least businesses would be able to start the recovery process and bring some much-needed relief over the Christmas period.

“We strongly urge the Government to rethink their decision.”

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