- Members only
Our favourite places were hit first and hit hardest – Britain needs them to survive
Hospitality is diverse. It has helped us through the crisis and can help us out of it. It is not just vital to the 3.2m they employ, they are at the heart of our social lives. But they have been devastated by COVID19 – with a 21% decline in trade in quarter 1 – ten times worse than the whole economy. Around a third of businesses believe they will never reopen some sites. For Great Britain to come together again after the lockdown, governments must invest in a fair and timely return for hospitality.
Lockdown, while entirely justified, has kept our customers and staff at home, isolated from friends and family, often unable to earn a living. More than 2 million hospitality jobs are furloughed, and the supply chain is threatened with further damage – these jobs are at risk. Even while closed, the sector faces further costs – bills of up to £1 billion in rent and other costs await them in the second quarter. We have come to know – more than ever – how British hospitality shapes the nation, as well as feeding it: it is key to our sense of community and wellbeing.
It is vital that reopening is done in the right way, at the right time and with the right support so that our industry can help rebuild shattered consumer confidence, bring the entire nation back together safely over the coming months and provide an economic boost to hard-hit coastal and rural communities, providing a morale boost for those families whose holidays have been cancelled. We cannot let our summer slip away before we’ve enjoyed its pleasures and economic boons.
UKHospitality is asking for hospitality businesses to be reopened: