‘Don’t have a dry January.’ Save the pubs campaign, as ’20 a week’ pubs close down BEFORE the pandemic.
According to an expert, the hospitality industry was in financial ruin long before COVID-19 came along due to rising rents, with 80 pubs going bankrupt every month.
Before COVID-19 struck, the hospitality industry was no longer thriving, with up to “twenty pubs a week” closing their doors, according to Dave Mountford, who urged punters to avoid a dry January to help struggling businesses.
Mr Mountford, who is the manager of the Forum of British Pubs Campaign, told GB News’ Anna Diamond and Stephen Dixon that “unsustainable rents” led to debt-ridden pubs going out of business long before many of them suffered massive financial losses as a result of Covid.
“The industry has been suffering for years, long before Covid entered the picture,” he said.
“Unfortunately, there were still 20 pubs closing each week in this country at the start of the pandemic.”
“And it has nothing to do with pub patronage; it has to do with the unsustainable rents that pubs have been forced to pay.”
“Governments have identified this issue on numerous occasions, but they have done nothing to address it.”
“Before the Covid crisis, the industry was already in trouble!”
The impact of Coronavirus added to the owners’ woes, with income believed to have dropped to 70% of pre-pandemic levels.
Mr Mountford revealed that for a number of pub, restaurant, and nightclub owners, taking out a bank loan to get some relief and keep their heads above water was an unavoidable step.
“Obviously, I don’t need to reiterate how significant Covid’s impact on hospitality has been,” he said.
“A lot of pubs took on significant debts or were encouraged to take on debts in the form of bank-backed loans.”
“Those who managed to survive the pandemic looked forward to bouncing back at Christmas, which is the first chance to get some real money flowing into their pubs.”
“However, we all know what happened after that.”
“And the government’s announcement to be cautious and not overly reckless over the holidays has impacted the pubs once more!”
Those who were fortunate enough to survive the storm had to make do with a drastically reduced wage bill.
“To put that in perspective, my pub took about £55,000 for the two years ago in December,” he said.
“News from the Brinkwire.”