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Gloucestershire Business News

Hospitality "staring into the abyss" without help

The hospitality industry has repeated calls for Government help after being floored by the coronavirus pandemic.

Giving evidence to the Treasury Select Committee inquiry into the economic impact of coronavirus, UKHospitality said four in 10 businesses in the sector believed they would fail by the middle of the year.

And only one in five have enough cashflow to survive beyond the end of this month under existing levels of support.

Figures the trade body's latest quarterly sales tracker said the industry had seen a loss in revenue of £72billion over the past 12 months - more than 10 times worse than the impact of the 2008 financial crisis.

But UKHospitality believes the sector can bounce back rapidly with the right support and has called for an extension of the VAT cut to five per cent for a further 12 months across the broad hospitality sector and a further business rates holiday for 2021-22

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "Put simply, hospitality is battling for survival.

Our sector has been the hardest hit sector by the pandemic and is staring into the abyss.

"But if the right conditions and support are put in place, we could be justifiably optimistic of the future role hospitality can play in returning the country to growth and boosting employment."

She continued: "The VAT cut and business rates holiday were two key measures that Government correctly identified in 2020 that would stimulate economic activity and assist businesses.

"With subsequent lockdowns and restrictions many in hospitality have been unable to recoup the intended benefits.

"Extending these measures would act as a critical revival system - saving many jobs and setting up the economy for much need job creation for the rest of the year."

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