The survey carried out during September of over 500 publicans has shown that government interventions have not helped pub tenants as was hoped.
Whilst the survey was far reaching, three key outputs are:
- Two thirds of respondents have accrued rental obligations during the lockdown, with the majority failing to agree any payment plan with their owner brewery. Nearly the same number looked to the Bounce Back Loan Scheme option to help with cashflow, but reported that their pub owner pushed them to use it to clear deferred rentals.
- Four out of 10 respondents made use of the Eat Out Scheme, and two thirds noted that sales were ahead of the comparative period last year. But nearly nine out of 10 report that they have not retained any of the increased patronage.
- Four out of five made use of the Furlough Scheme, and as a result made no redundancies during the period. But more than four out of five said that the Job Support Scheme will not work for them with nine out of 10 stating that they will be making between 1 and 5 staff redundant when the scheme starts.
In addition to the key outputs, the 10pm curfew was commented upon by 19 out of 20 respondents as being unlikely to stop the spread of COVID, with three quarters feeling less confident of surviving as a result on the limitation.
Dave Mountford, speaking on behalf of the Forum of British Pubs, said, “The survey confirms the difficulties that tenant publicans continue to face. The government interventions have eased the pressure for some, but the relief has been short lived, with PubCos benefiting more than their tenants, and material redundancies anticipated as furlough support finishes.”
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