New alliance to support hospitality supplier businesses

28th May, 2020 by Melita Kiely

Trade body UK Hospitality has launched a new Supplier Alliance to urge the government to give support to hospitality supplier businesses impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.

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The Supplier Alliance has been launched to help support supplier businesses during the pandemic

The Supplier Alliance will act as a voice for businesses within the hospitality industry that have been hit “just as hard” as venues by the pandemic.

The group will put pressure on the government to support suppliers in line with operators to ensure ongoing measures supporting the hospitality industry cover the entire business network.

Along with the launch of the Supplier Alliance comes a survey for suppliers to gauge the scale of the challenges facing supply businesses and the urgency for support.

Kate Nicholls, UK Hospitality chief executive, said: “Supplier businesses within hospitality are just as wide-ranging, varied and dynamic as the venues themselves.

“Our sector supports businesses as disparate as EPOS companies, licensing solicitors or even line specialists. The shutdown of the hospitality sector has meant that all these businesses have been forced into hibernation as well.

“The government has recognised the damage that pubs, restaurants, hotels, bars and nightclubs have suffered and have acted quickly and decisively to provide support and save jobs.

“There are many businesses integral to the hospitality sector facing the same existential crisis and they need the government’s support now.”

Scottish hospitality sector needs more help

UK Hospitality has also criticised the Scottish government in light of additional business support, arguing it “does not go far enough”. The trade body warned the current measures will result in business failures and job losses.

On Tuesday (26 May), cabinet secretary for economy, fair work and culture Fiona Hyslop MSP, revealed an extension to the small business retail, hospitality and leisure grant to businesses that have multiple premises with a cumulative value of more than £51,000 (around US$62,500).

However, grant support has not been extended to businesses in venues with a rateable value of more than £51,000.

Willie Macleod, UK Hospitality executive director for Scotland, said: “This is a disappointing move by the Scottish government that will see too many businesses in dire need of support continue to be excluded from the grant scheme.

“There is still no grant support for those businesses occupying premises with a rateable value above £51,000. These businesses have been hit just as hard as any other. They are not being shielded from the effects of Covid-19 simply because their premises are more highly rated.

“These businesses have had no revenue since lockdown began on 23 March, are incurring significant costs while closed, an average of £60,000 [US$73,500] per month, and are at severe risk of going out of business altogether with the potential loss of thousands of jobs.

“We hope that these businesses will be able to help spearhead the economic recovery of Scotland once the crisis has passed. They will not be able to if they have gone out of business before they have a chance to reopen. Grant support must be extended to these businesses, otherwise we are going to see even more failures and more people unemployed.”

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