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Gloucestershire Business News

Pubs face last orders if grants not paid quickly

Pubs and brewers need faster delivery of Government-backed loans and grants if they are to be in a position to reopen their doors after the coronavirus pandemic.

That is the stark warning of the British Beer & Pub Association which says 75 per cent of its businesses are still waiting a decision on whether applications for grants have been approved.

And more than half are still waiting for payments for which they are eligible.

A survey by the association revealed 58 per cent of leased and tenanted pubs were yet to received a £10,000 grant and 61 per cent were waiting for a £25,000 payment.

Chief executive Emma McClarkin, who is from Stroud, said: "More than half of pubs are yet to receive the grants they are eligible for and 75 per cent 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."

She warned delays could prove fatal to some of its member businesses.

"How can the Government expect them to survive the COVID-19 lockdown without this vital financial support?" she asked.

"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."

She continued: "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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