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.”
Commenting on the First Minister’s statement today, CEO of the Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) Emma McClarkin said: “This announcement today is bittersweet for Scotland’s pubs and bars. Whilst the news that further economic support for the sector will be outlined tomorrow is hugely welcome and long overdue, the unwillingness of the Government to review the time restrictions on hospitality and lack of progress on the Levels in certain areas like Edinburgh, is hugely disappointing. Only 42% of Scotland’s pubs and bars will be able open under these restrictions, leaving the majority on life-support. “The Christmas and New Year period is critically important to businesses in the hospitality sector and the news today that many will be unable to trade as they had hoped and expected will sadly mean some tough business decisions being made over the next few days. “In order to save jobs and hundreds of Scottish businesses, the Scottish Government must now ensure that the financial support package at least matches those on offer to pubs, bars and their supply chains in Wales. Currently, the average Welsh pub will receive four times more in financial support than the average Scottish pub over the Christmas period. The Cabinet Secretary needs to fix that tomorrow.”
The Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) has today (Thursday) called on the Scottish Government to save thousands of pubs and other hospitality businesses by ‘at least’ matching the level of economic support the Welsh Government has committed to their pubs. Currently, the economic support afforded to the average Scottish pub stretches to just £2,700 for the six-week Christmas period, whilst the average pub in Wales will receive £11,300. Some pubs in Wales will be eligible for upwards of £17,000 in grant support, whilst Scottish pubs will struggle to survive this Christmas. It is also understood that there will be no cap on multiple operators in Wales, something which the Scottish Government has included on previous grants. This resulted in many SMEs in the hospitality sector receiving reduced levels of support, putting more jobs at risk. Commenting, CEO of the Scottish Beer & Pub Association, Emma McClarkin, said: "As a sector, hospitality businesses are on their knees and are desperately crying out for meaningful economic support. Whilst any grant is of course welcome, the current level of funding does not come close to covering fixed costs, even when closed. In order to support jobs, the Scottish Government needs to at least match the support offered to pub in Wales. "Every day that passes without further economic support means that more pubs will stay closed for good and more jobs will be lost as a result. Pubs in Wales have been given a lifeline which we hope will now see most of their pubs reach the other side of the pandemic. Meanwhile, pubs in Scotland face devastation. "The Scottish Government cannot delay any further and must now announce more support for the hospitality sector, which provides over 100,000 jobs in Scotland. They must also support the jobs of those workers that are employed by multiple operators. The current restriction on grant support means that hundreds of jobs are being put at additional risk, for no reason. Some pubs, if owned by multiple operators will receive absolutely nothing. "If the Welsh Government can support hospitality jobs and businesses with this level of support, the Scottish Government must be able to provide at least equitable support. Without it, thousands of pubs likely stay closed for good."