More than 70 percent of pubs are unlikely to survive the winter unless something is done to ease the cost of energy prices.
With energy prices soaring in the UK - and set to go even higher before the year is out - almost three quarters of pubs could be forced to close their doors for good unless help is made available.
Research carried out by the Morning Advertiser, revealed that more than 70 percent of operators did not think they’d make it through the winter without intervention from the government.
More than 65 percent of respondents said their utility costs had risen by more than 100 percent, while 30 percent of pub owners said they’d had an increase of 200 percent, and eight percent said their utility bills had increased by a staggering 500 percent.
Now, the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) is calling on the UK Government to step in and help out.
In a letter to the chancellor Nadhim Zahawi, co-signed by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), SIBA urged the government to act now as the industry faces ‘grave uncertainty’.
The letter reads in part: “We have entered one of the most challenging times for the brewing sector. Small brewers are reporting that their energy bills are doubling or trebling, putting their future ability to brew at risk.”
Heath Ball, managing director of the Frisco Group, which operates three pubs, told the Morning Advertiser that pubs were currently facing a ‘doomsday scenario’.
He said: “This energy bill crisis comes on the back of the most testing of times as businesses try to recover from the Covid crisis and I think it poses an even greater threat to the survival of pubs.”
Ball went on to say that the government needs to ‘find a solution to this now or face mass pub and restaurant closures’.
Nik Antona chairman of CAMRA said: “Pubsgoers and beer drinkers want to see urgent action from government to make sure that the UK’s best beers, brands and breweries can survive these unprecedented times of rocketing energy and ingredient costs and a dip in consumer confidence.
“With businesses having pulled out all the stops to make it through the pandemic, it would be a travesty if more of our local, small and independent breweries were forced to close for good now due to the crisis with the cost of energy, goods, and doing business.”