The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) slammed the government for not yet providing more than 22,000 pubs with the one-off £1,000 ($1,362) payment they were promised at the end of last year.
The organisation said 74% of over 30,000 so-called wet-led pubs, that mainly serve alcohol rather than provide food, are still to receive the Christmas grant promised to them by prime minister Boris Johnson at the beginning of December 2020.
BBPA CEO Emma McClarkin, said: “Publicans across the country are desperately checking their bank accounts every minute of every day to see if they have got their payment. Our sector is hanging by a thread, so for many pubs getting these grants is the difference between surviving or closing for good.”
“It is completely unacceptable that it has even gotten to this stage where we are pleading with Government to deliver the support we’ve been promised by them. These grants are a vital lifeline, but only when delivered,” she added.
Johnson last month had said the money would be made available to pubs in England suffering due to new lockdown restrictions, noting that the hospitality sector has been hit hard due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The move was criticised by representatives of the hospitality industry and small businesses for not going far enough.
As the BBPA noted, over a usual festive period, the average pub would make £47,000 in revenue – by far the biggest trading period of the year for the sector.
The trade association also revealed that over half of the grants introduced to support pubs through tier restrictions and November lockdown are yet to be paid.
In a survey of its members, the BBPA found that 46% of pubs are still yet to receive Local Restrictions Support Grants.
The association is urging Johnson to personally intervene to ensure his promise of both grants are delivered immediately.
It also asked the government and local authorities to work more closely together to ensure future grants are delivered to pubs at pace.
Back in November, a study revealed that almost three quarters of UK pubs and restaurants are expect to shut permanently in 2021 following damaging coronavirus restrictions.
The BBPA, the British Institute of Innkeeping and UK Hospitality said in a statement that 72% of surveyed businesses "expect to become unviable and close in 2021."
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