Business rates bill could be 'last straw' for thousands of pubs

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Pubs face £800m rates bill that could cause many to close says British Beer & Pub Association

Related tags Pub British beer and pub association Business rates Coronavirus

Thousands of pubs could close for good if nothing is done to stop an £800m business rates bill coming into force early next year.

Trade body the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has warned that the bill, which will take effect in March 2021 if pub sector specific relief on business rates ends as planned, will cost an average of £25,000 per rate paying pub.

At present the BBPA says that at least one third of pubs are struggling to break even, as they grapple with a significantly curtailed post-lockdown trading environment,

As a result, many will be left without the cash required to pay the business rates bill in the new year.

The BBPA is therefore urging the Government to extend its pub sector relief on business rates for at least another year.

According to the trade body, extending the rate relief for pubs could save thousands of locals and provide worthy investment for the Government.

It would also spare tens of thousands of jobs, and secure future tax revenue from pubs in the longer term.

“Ending the business rates relief for pubs and handing them a bill of £800m could be the last straw for thousands of pubs," says Emma McClarkin, CEO of the British Beer & Pub Association.

“Given that all these pubs made it through the lockdown – over 15 weeks without being able to open their doors – and have remained viable businesses despite social distancing and significantly lower footfall, it would be devastating for them to fall at the final hurdle in the post-lockdown recovery.

“It would mean much of the Government’s vital support for the sector through lockdown would have been wasted. This is why we are asking the Government to extend the relief and help protect our great British pubs and the hundreds of thousands of jobs they support.

“Investing in our pubs now will enable them to survive and thrive into 2021 and beyond, help lead the economic recovery and generate a larger tax revenue for the Government in the future."

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