Pubs in desperate need of access to finance now, says BBPA

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) is urging faster delivery of Government-backed loans and grants, as new research reveals pubs and brewers aren’t getting the help they have been promised.

75% of pubs and brewery businesses are still desperately waiting a decision on whether they will receive the much-needed Government-backed loan they have applied for, with more than half also yet to receive the critical Government grants they are eligible for to help them through the Covid-19 crisis.

The findings, from a survey by BBPA of its members, shows that thousands of the UK’s pubs are being left without the financial support they have been promised, leaving many under intense strain and in real jeopardy of closing.

Members of the trade association were asked if their eligible pubs had received either the £10,000 or £25,000 grant. They were also asked – if they had applied for finance – whether the application had been successful or if they were still waiting on a decision.

On grants, 58% of leased and tenanted pubs were yet to receive a £10,000 grant they were eligible for and 61% of pubs hadn’t yet received a £25,000 grant they were eligible for.

Further BBPA analysis on grants conducted already has also found that there is a “postcode lottery” on the delivery of grants, with the pay-out rate wildly varying between different local authorities.

On access to the range of Government-backed loans, although no member company reported being declined support by one of the available loan schemes (CFF, CBILS & CLBILS), only 25% have so far been told their application has been successful.

However, of the applications made by individual pub lessees and tenants for one of the Government back loan schemes, only 11% have been successful.

The BBPA is therefore urgently pressing the Government to not only speed up the delivery of finance and grants, but also to increase the number of loans and grants offered to pubs.

It has also welcomed the recent introduction of the 100% Government underwritten ‘Bounce Back Loans’ scheme, providing further support for small businesses. However, the trade association says applications from pubs for the scheme must be prioritised.

The BBPA says that without support being delivered wider and faster, many pubs simply won’t survive the current lockdown, let alone any extension to it.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), said: “More than half of pubs are yet to receive the grants they are eligible for and 75% are still waiting on a decision on the Government backed loan they have applied for.

“Pubs and breweries have large costs to cover, so they are experiencing significant cash flow issues. How can the Government expect them to survive the Covid-19 lockdown without this vital financial support?

“If the Government doesn’t take decisive action now to both widen and speed up the delivery of grant payments and their loans, then pubs and breweries are at real risk of not surviving the lockdown and jobs will be lost across the UK.

“We welcome the introduction of the ‘Bounce Back Loan’ scheme to specifically help small businesses, but ask that pub and brewery applications are prioritised and processed quickly.

“For the sake of all the communities across the UK our pubs and breweries serve – and the 900,000 people employed by them – the Government cannot allow them to close.

“The UK’s 47,000 pubs urgently need the support they have been promised. The Government must deliver it now.”


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