More than 100 hospitality businesses in the UK, including pub businesses, restaurant chains and hotel operators, have written directly to the prime minister, warning that he must personally do more to help them. 

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The letter, led by trade associations the British Beer & Pub Association, UKHospitality, and the British Institute of Innkeeping, says that without additional and urgent support many businesses will not “survive this bleakest of winters”, and hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost. 

The letter states that even prior to the latest covid-19 restrictions, half of all hospitality businesses did not believe they would survive beyond the middle of next year. It says that the latest restrictions — including the 10pm curfew — “have made this fight to survive even harder”.

It calls on the government to commit to review the appropriateness of the latest restrictions at least every three weeks, and to remove them if they are found to not be having an impact upon the spread of the virus. 

The letter also says that if hospitality businesses are to survive and “lead the economic and employment recovery”, they need more government support.  

It states that the Chancellor’s winter support package “does not go nearly far enough for our imperilled sector”. It continues: “Without an immediate review of the support on offer to pubs, restaurants, and wider hospitality businesses, many will be lost for years to come.” 

The letter immediately calls on the prime minister to remove employer contributions for the hospitality sector to the Job Support Scheme, and provide a package of grant funding for those businesses that face restrictions being brought forward. To plan and rebuild beyond the winter, it also says “the VAT cut and business rates holiday must also be extended through 2021 and beer duty cut”.

In closing, the letter asks the prime minister “to intervene as a matter of urgency” and offers a meeting of sector leaders to help draw up a sector-specific support package to reflect sector-specific restrictions and  preventing “the devastating damage that is drawing ever closer”.

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