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Summer Economic Statement 2020: Impact on the Hospitality Sector

Yesterday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak appeared in the House of Commons to give his Summer Economic Statement.

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The key initiatives announced by Mr Sunak demonstrate a willingness from the government to further support the hospitality industry as we approach month five of lockdown, and the effect on the industry becomes even more destructive.
The new support package includes a "kickstart scheme" to get unemployed 16 to 24-year-olds into work, new payments for businesses hiring apprentices, a cut in VAT from 20% to 5% for the hospitality and tourism sectors, and a new "Eat Out to Help Out" Scheme which will give diners 50% discount if they eat out on Monday to Wednesday in August.

Simon Chaplin, Senior Director – Corporate Pubs & Restaurants, Christie & Co, comments:

“The new government initiatives announced are a welcome surprise for the hospitality industry, and promise a great deal of support for both trading levels and workers’ job security. Whilst it may be too late for some of the big brands who have already fallen by the wayside, this support is sure to encourage those looking to expand or enter the industry.

Restaurants, pubs and bars up and down the country help draw consumers to the high street and shopping centres so these measures for hospitality, in turn, are likely to positively impact all retailers and suppliers. I’m sure many will embrace the 'Eat Out to Help Out' scheme, which will help fill those typically quieter trading days, turning Tuesday into the new Friday.

At Christie & Co, we have already seen more interest in businesses in the suburbs, market towns and villages where those working from home are residing and not commuting, giving them extra “downtime” to go to their local restaurant or pub. We expect this to continue as hospitality businesses adapt to the new, ever changing, way of working.”

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