Pubs and restaurants are “still in the dark” about how energy support promised by the government will help them “to not only survive but thrive again.”
Prime Minister Liz Truss is set to unveil more details about a six-month scheme to support businesses on Friday, after promising firms equivalent aid to an energy price cap for households.
Hospitality trade bodies have written to Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng pleading for urgent clarity on how to help venues as they grapple with bill hikes of up to 400 per cent this autumn.
Business owners are having to weigh up whether they can survive the winter right now and must decide imminently whether or not to sign new fixed energy contracts, chiefs warned.
Bosses from the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), Campaign for Real Ale, British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), UKHospitality (UKH), British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) and the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) signed the letter.
The Chancellor has been urged to slash VAT on all food and drink sales across venues immediately and cancel business rates for the rest of the financial year.
There were also calls for more support and “a plan beyond the next six months.”
While an initial announcement “helped businesses breathe an initial sigh of relief,” most firms were “still in the dark as to how the guarantee might help them,” a joint statement from the industry groups said.
Policies were needed to allow hospitality venues to “invest in the long-term potential of our sector,” as well as “a government that understands the extremely critical situation we’re currently in,” and action on taxes.