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  • Beer And Pub Sector Respond To Scottish Roadmap Out Of Lockdown

    21 May 2020

    Commenting on the publication of the Scottish Government’s Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis, Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the Scottish Beer & Pub Association said: “We are pleased by today’s publication and to see pubs included as part of a possible, limited reopening utilising outdoor spaces in Phase 2. This would be great news for those pubs which are in a position to re-open at this point, however no two pubs are the same and the practical challenges may mean that many premises will remain closed during this period. “While the publication of the Scottish framework is welcome, it is clear that further detail will be needed for our sector to be able to look forward with confidence. We believe that pubs should only open when it is safe to do so, but the lack of any dates being attached to phases 2 and 3 gives us some concern. “Pubs and the wider hospitality sector need at least three full weeks’ notice to be ready for reopening, as retraining of staff, replenishment of stock and other fundamental factors cannot happen overnight especially with new restrictions and measures needing to be implemented. “The current social-distancing requirements of 2 metres, also present significant challenges for pubs. We would urge both the Scottish and UK governments to strongly investigate moving to 1 metre distancing, as endorsed by the World Health Organisation. “We are committed to working closely with government to get our nation’s pubs back open as quickly as safe and possible to do so, but to do that we need to work collaboratively on the reopening plans and ensure adequate notice to get ready. “Finally, if pubs are to remain closed for a significant period of time, additional financial support will be needed. Without it, the social hubs and heart of communities in many towns, villages and cities across Scotland will be lost forever.”

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    02 May 2020

    New research by the Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) has revealed that an estimated 1500 pubs eligible for vital grants, still haven’t received the funds from Local Authorities to help them survive the COVID-19 lockdown. The research showed that Glasgow City Council, which has 384 pubs eligible for the Coronavirus Business Support grants of £10,000 or £25,000, had the lowest percentage of grants paid with only 25% of applications reaching businesses as of the 28th of April. This leaves an estimated 288 pubs in the city without the much-needed lifeline of support, and only 96 receiving the funds. Across the whole of Scotland, 3,929 pubs are estimated to be eligible for a grant, with 61% (2,403) receiving the funds. This leaves an estimated 1526 pubs without this much needed cashflow at the end of the month, when bills and payments are due. The Local Authorities with the lowest percentage of approved applications for grant support are: Glasgow; 25.05% Approved; 288 Pubs without funds. South Lanarkshire; 48.95% Approved; 80 Pubs without funds. Fife; 51.71% Approved; 143 Pubs without funds. In contrast, those with highest percentage of approved applications for grant support are: Scottish Borders; 95.86% Approved; 5 Pubs without funds. Aberdeenshire; 83.84% Approved; 31 Pubs without funds. Clackmannanshire; 81.45% Approved; 7 Pubs without funds. The support package was announced by the Finance Secretary Kate Forbes in March, with Local Authorities expected to receive funds within 10 days. Over one month later, many businesses have still seen no sign of the cash. Commenting on the research, Emma McClarkin CEO of the Scottish Beer & Pub Association said: “Our research shows that too many Local Authorities are not paying grants to pubs and other hospitality businesses anywhere near quickly enough, with over 1500 pubs across Scotland estimated to still be waiting. For smaller pub businesses in particularthis grant funding is urgently needed. “This needs to be rectified immediately. Otherwise, pubs will close for good and the thousands of people they employ will lose jobs. “Credit must go to those Local Authorities who are doing the right thing and getting their grants to pubs and other businesses quickly. We need the Local Authorities to learn from best practice and get the urgently needed support to pub businesses as a matter of urgency.” This table uses data from the SBPA and that published by the Scottish Government here: Information on the Coronavirus Business Support grants (via local authorities is available here:

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  • SBPA Welcome Scottish Government Grant Extension for Multiple Operators

    15 April 2020

    Commenting on the Scottish Government’s extension of the grant scheme to multiple premises, the Scottish Beer and Pub Association’s CEO Emma McClarkin said: “This is a hugely welcome announcement from the Cabinet Secretary and one that the SBPA has been pushing the government repeatedly on over the last few weeks. This gives Pubs and other hospitality businesses the extra cashflow needed to survive at this time and will also allow more businesses to reopen once the pandemic is over. There remain areas where further support is still needed; pubs with rateable values of over £51,000 will still receive no grant support and is something we’re pushing both UK and Scottish Government’s for more action, but today’s a day many businesses will be saying ‘Cheers’ to Kate Forbes and the Scottish Government.”

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  • SBPA comment on pub closure order by UK & Scottish Governments

    20 March 2020

    Commenting on the closure of pubs in Scotland this evening, Paul Togneri of the Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) said: “Both Scottish and UK Governments have been clear that pubs must now shut down. The safety and wellbeing of people is our priority and we stand ready to play our part in the fight against COVID-19, helping to protect our communities and employees. “As a sector employing nearly 68,000 people in Scotland, the Chancellor’s support package announced today on staff wages, combined with the support announced by the Finance Secretary to Holyrood earlier in the week, will safeguard thousands of livelihoods and help closed pubs try to get through this difficult period. “We stand ready to work with both Governments and Local Authorities to ensure that the support is accessible as fast as possible. There remain areas where we need further support to sustain our great brewing and pub sector through this difficult time, to ensure that all staff will have jobs to return to and to guarantee all pubs can reopen again when this crisis is over and continue to be at the heart of communities up and down the country.”

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  • SBPA welcome COVID-19 Business Support, Workers Must Be Next

    18 March 2020

    The Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) has welcomed the announcement this afternoon from the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture Fiona Hyslop of the £2.2bn worth of measures to support business, and the replication of measures announced by the Chancellor yesterday. Commenting, Paul Togneri of the Scottish Beer & Pub Association said: “The replication of the support that the Chancellor announced for businesses in England yesterday is very much welcomed by industry, and we commend the Scottish Government for the speed of their announcement. “Low-cost loans and business rates holidays are a positive step, but we now need immediate action to address the lack of cash in the beer and pub ecosystem. “For that we need an immediate announcement from the UK Government that they will guarantee that staff will be paid by underwriting at least 75% of wages. That is so companies can keep these staff on and easily reopen when the situation changes back to normal. “Mass and permanent pub closures are absolutely inevitable in a matter of days without a meaningful support package from the UK Government. Some pubs are already closing and there is no guarantee that they will ever reopen. “Another important step is quick access and distribution of the £10,000 and £25,000 grants. This can be done via pub owning companies who have capability and means to get the funding directly to the businesses that need it most. “These measures, alongside the immediate cancellation of duty payments due on 25th March and VAT payments due at the end of the month can stop critical cash leaving the system.”

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  • SBPA comments on Government advice to avoid pubs

    16 March 2020

    Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the Scottish Beer and Pub Association, commented: “The severity of the COVID-19 crisis is now impacting on Pubs with devastating effect. The very existence of hundreds of Scottish pubs and thousands of jobs now at risk. “Both the UK and Scottish governments needs to give clear instructions and detail on the support package to rescue the sector and hundreds of thousands of jobs. “Urgent measures to support cash flows and enable cost reductions is an absolute necessity. Government action now will save thousands of jobs and save our pubs. “Support for pubs now is an investment in the long-term future of communities across the UK without it we risk losing our community assets forever.”

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