By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 23 January 2023 • 8:39
Burger and chips - Image Dejan Stanic Micko / Shutterstock.com
CEO James Watt posting on Linkedin on Monday, January 23 said that the country was sleepwalking into a crisis that could see thousands of businesses close. He added that the situation for many businesses is already dire and that the chancellor’s plans to cut energy support would make the situation even graver than it already is.
He said: “Businesses all over the UK are facing the crippling combination of the worst cost inflation for decades and squeezed consumer spending power.
“The sad reality is that there are many great businesses that simply will not survive 2023.”
Watt called on the government to cut business rates, reduce tax and give a year-long VAT holiday to hospitality saying: “This climate is incredibly challenging for BrewDog.
“Fortunately, we have the scale and backing to survive. Many smaller businesses aren’t so lucky.
“If this means spending a bit more money to support businesses through this nightmare now, it’s better than spending the money on unemployment benefits if thousands of businesses go under.”
He finished by saying that without support the hospitality sector could be in serious trouble. The latest hospitality market monitor from AlixPartners and CGA confirms this. That shows a reduction of 1,611 hospitality premises over the fourth quarter of 2022.
Referring to the numbers experts spoken to by the Independent say the mass closures were largely due to rampant cost inflation, particularly through rising energy bills.
Currently, the UK is losing a little over 1.5 per cent of its hospitality sector every quarter, with around 18 closures per day, with a reduction of just under 5,000 in 2022.
Will we see £27.50 pints and £48.75 burger and chips in the UK or have the figures been quoted to raise awareness of how dire the situation is for many businesses? Only time will tell.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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