scottish hospitality group

Scottish Hospitality Group pleads for further government aid after extended closures

22 October, 2020

The extended closure of Scottish hospitality venues will have “devastating consequences” on the industry according to the Scottish Hospitality Group.

An extended closure of hospitality venues across the central belt of Scotland, including Glasgow and Edinburgh, was announced earlier this week to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Stephen Montgomery, spokesperson for the Scottish Hospitality Group, said: “Recent restrictions were framed as a ‘temporary’ short, sharp shock, but the extension is an indication that we can only expect a continued government stranglehold on hospitality that will have devastating consequences.

“We knew that next week would be pivotal for many businesses as furlough comes to an end.

“With current restrictions remaining in place until 2 November, and no indication of what the new tier system will entail, the financial support package must be increased or countless venues will be forced to close for good, and tens of thousands of people will lose their jobs.

“The £40m (government aid) is a drop in the ocean for Scotland’s 16,700 licensed hospitality businesses. Manchester, with its 1,912 licensed premises, could receive up to £60m in government support, which works out at over £31,000 per premises, compared to the woefully inadequate £3,500 potentially on the table from the Scottish government.

“Every business is facing a unique situation. Some operators outside the central belt have been forced to close as they cannot trade viably under the current restrictions, leaving them not eligible for full Scottish government support or able to access the new furlough scheme. 

“We have repeatedly called on the Scottish government to work with us on a solution to safeguard an industry that is the third biggest employer in the country.

“We must work together on a flexible funding model and long-term strategic approach that saves jobs and protects livelihoods…

“Without further financial support, Scotland’s hospitality industry will be crippled to the point of no return.” 

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