Almost a third of restaurants (8,468) and more than one in seven (more than 5,000) in England would be affected by the measures announced Thursday, according to real estate advisor Altus Group.
Robert Hayton, an Altus executive, said: “New restrictive measures that negatively impact trade, already at levels well below pre-pandemic levels, without any insightful targeted support, could be the death knell . ”
The hotel industry has already seen a plunge in sales after the introduction of restrictions including the 10pm curfew and the “rule of six”, which have led to a reduction in footfall in towns and city centers. Pubs and bars that serve little or no food suffered the most because they did not benefit from the “eat out to help” program or a temporary reduction in VAT on food.
The head of the UKHospitality trade body said the new measures were the ‘worst of both worlds’ because they would hurt trade, but did not happen without the same financial support available to businesses in designated Tier 3 areas, where pubs and bars must close serving large meals.
The organization fears that London sites will be particularly affected as they are already reeling from the loss of trade from tourists and office workers.
“A move to level 2 will now be catastrophic for some of them and will only get worse by the end of the leave program in less than two weeks,” said Kate Nicholls, head of UKHospitality.
Hotel bosses have previously said 300,000 jobs could be lost without an industry-specific bailout.
Nicholls called on the government to provide a financial safety net by allowing hotel companies to forgo contributions to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s employment support program – which requires companies to pay 55% of an employee’s monthly salary – or by giving them the same support as companies. in level 3 regions, which includes coverage for two-thirds of the wages of workers in companies forced to close by the restrictions.
” If it [the government] no, we are considering catastrophic business closures and widespread job losses in the capital as of November 1, ”she said.
British Beer & Pubs Association (BBPA) chief executive Emma McClarkin called on the government to “do the right thing” by announcing a targeted financial support program, adding that permanent closures would be inevitable without it.
As London braced for local restrictions similar to those already imposed on large swathes of England, groups focused on the capital’s prosperity have urged the government to ensure the measures can be lifted as soon as possible.
“If tough action now means we can save lives and avoid a more severe lockdown later, then businesses in the capital are hoping these short-term measures will prevent the worst from happening,” said Jasmine Whitbread, Managing Director by London First.
“Transparency on how the measures are expected to reduce transmission and when they will be lifted as tariffs fall will be crucial to building confidence. The government must not repeat the mistakes of the summer and must take advantage of this period to fix the tracking and tracing system and provide additional support to companies unable to trade, including by expanding business rates and VAT relief.
The Confederation of British Industry called the imposition of Level 2 measures in London a “serious setback” and urged the government and the city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, to use whatever tools at their disposal to protect jobs.
While businesses affected by Tier 2 restrictions are not eligible for additional support, those affected by the highest Tier 3 restrictions may receive £ 3,000 per week in cash grants and an increased state contribution in the as part of Sunak’s employment support program.
The London Chamber of Commerce said many businesses in the capital would prefer to be subject to tighter restrictions if that meant they could access that support.