James Calder, SIBA Chief Executive of SIBA has made the following statement:
“The silence from the Government today is deafening with no certainty on further restrictions or much needed support for hard hit brewers and pubs.
The current uncertainty is keeping customers away from hospitality and without economic support for the hundreds of breweries and thousands of pubs that rely on December trading we will see many more small businesses close.
We urgently need to see an appearance from the chancellor and for him to deliver new support for the beer and pubs sector – introducing a Brewers Support Fund as seen in Scotland to the rest of the UK, prioritise the release of the £1.5 billion of Business Rates Relief, and provide compensation for the millions of pints of beer that could be poured away if lockdown happens.
Over the last month Small independent breweries in the UK have been ramping up production in preparation for the vital Christmas sales period, but the threat of further restrictions and a possible lockdown is keeping people away from pubs and hospitality venues and hitting small breweries sales hard – with brewers seeing sales fall by 50% over the past week.
Further restrictions would see many businesses close for good. The beer supply chain is not a tap that can be turned off at a moment’s notice and beer is now sat ready to be sold with nowhere to send it – a full lockdown will make an already tough situation disastrous for small breweries, with millions of spoiled pints likely to be poured down the drain as happened during the last lockdown.”