In a letter, the trade body has called on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to encourage the full lifting of restrictions beyond 21 June to ensure that hospitality can return to full strength, adding that if there is any slippage in the roadmap that the Treasury must stand ready to deliver extra support measures.
It comes after the latest edition of the UKHospitality Quarterly Tracker with CGA, released late last month, revealed that the Covid-19 pandemic had wiped a staggering £80.8bn off hospitality’s sales in 12 months.
The letter highlights ongoing issues that sector businesses are experiencing when it comes to access to capital.
While Government loan schemes have been received positively, UKHospitality says there are real concerns in the sector about their rollout with many operators reporting that banks are denying them access to critical funding.
As a potential solution to this challenge, the trade body proposes working with the Treasury to develop a more targeted loan scheme that recognises the particular difficulties that the hospitality sector faces.
“The hospitality sector stands ready to play its part in helping to power the recovery, create jobs and reinvigorate local communities, but that will only be possible if our businesses return to viability at the earliest opportunity," says Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality chief executive.
“Firstly, we need the Government to deliver on its commitment to dropping Covid restrictions and measures on 21 June. But even then, many companies will be facing huge rent debts and other business costs so access to capital through loans is critical to ensure they can get back on their feet again as soon as possible.
“The revitalisation of hospitality will yield a substantial return on investment – in terms of economic growth, employment, levelling up, high street regeneration and Government revenues. Brighter days are ahead but we urge the Chancellor to ensure that his welcome and substantial support for the sector doesn’t go to waste.”