The pub group introduced the concession in December to support pubs in tier 2 and 3 areas with the latest decision set to take the pubco’s total financial support through the pandemic to more than £25m.
“The great British pub has been in a fight for its survival since the first lockdown in March 2020,” says Greene King Pub Partners managing director Wayne Shurvinton.
“We have stood shoulder to shoulder with our partners since that date and we are determined to keep doing all we can to support them now.
“However, reducing rents alone will not be enough and without further government support, pubs will continue losing money every week while they remain closed.”
The extension comes in addition to the Chancellor’s recently announced grant scheme where payments of £4,000 are available for businesses with a rateable value of up to £15,000, £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 to £51,000, and £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of more than £51,000.
While Shurvinton welcomes the grants he, along with many in the pub sector, is calling on the Government for more support.
“The latest grants are a good step in the right direction but with no date for pubs to reopen, they will soon vanish on other overheads and outstanding bills,” he says.
“Pubs need guarantees of further long-term support from government, such as an extension of the current VAT cut for hospitality and a continuation of the current business rates relief.
“As it stands, both of these would come to an end at around the point in the spring when it looks like pubs could finally be able to reopen.
“This could be the cruelest blow of all to hard-working publicans who reopen their pubs to welcome customers back in and suddenly see costs spiral.”