Financial support needed to protect pubs, as roadmap confirms they will be last to open – CAMRA NI
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Commenting on the Northern Ireland Executive’s framework for taking decisions about easing lockdown and the First Minister’s comments that the final stage may not be reached until December, Chair of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) in Northern Ireland Ruth Sloan said:
“Today’s roadmap confirms that pubs will be among the last businesses to re-open, possibly not until December. When they do, they will be operating with reduced trade as a result of following social distancing measures.
“It is clear that ministers must now commit to enhancing and extending financial support for NI’s pubs to help them weather the storm of restrictions, both until we reach Stage 5 and throughout the period of limited and restricted openings once we get there.
“That’s why CAMRA is calling for the Executive to scrap business rates for pubs for the rest of the year and to keep offering grants – both to those that have to remain closed and to those who will re-open but operating at reduced capacity.
“It is also vital to protect our local beer and cider industry by introducing a specific support package for local brewers and cider producers who are unable to find new routes to market whilst pubs and restaurants are closed, like sell online, due to outdated and restrictive licensing laws.
“Without financial support we could risk many of our pubs and local, independent breweries and cider-makers not being able to survive the COVID-19 crisis.”
CAMRA Press Office:
CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, is a not-for-profit consumer group with over 192,000 members that has been operating since 1971. Our vision is to have quality real ale and thriving pubs in every community.