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Gloucestershire Business News

Pubs warn action is needed to help them survive

The pub industry has urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to introduce specific support which will prevent many of them from calling time for good.

Beer sales collapsed in pubs by 40 per cent in March compared to the previous year as the spread of the coronavirus and government restrictions saw closures in the final third of the month.

Sales away from pubs were up 10.6 per cent, mainly at supermarkets and off licenses, but with no pubs open at all throughout April, the outlook will get even worse as they face being among the last businesses to reopen.

British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Emma McClarkin, who comes from Stroud, said: "We urge Boris Johnson to back British pubs. The sector needs his full support if pubs are going to make it through the COVID-19 crisis.

"Pubs are unique to the UK, but many will be lost if the necessary financial support isn't in place to help them now and when they reopen.

"Pubs might survive the COVID-19 lockdown, but without additional support to assist them when reopening, many could fall at the last hurdle as we come out the other end of this crisis."

The association has welcomed an announcement by the Financial Conduct Authority that it intends to obtain a court ruling to resolve uncertainty surrounding business interruption insurance cover regarding coronavirus.

No member pubs have managed to make a successful claim to date with 56 per cent rejected and the rest awaiting a decision.

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