Worksop publican says 10pm curfew has had "a massive impact" on business

A Worksop publican has highlighted the damage that the 10pm curfew is having on business as licensees countrywide urge the Government to support pubs or be responsible for mass closures and job losses.

By Gay Bolton
Wednesday, 14th October 2020, 2:25 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th October 2020, 2:28 pm
Marcus Kissane of the Queens Head has seen a sharp fall in takings since the 10pm curfew was implemented.
Marcus Kissane of the Queens Head has seen a sharp fall in takings since the 10pm curfew was implemented.

Marcus Kissane, of the Queen’s Head, said that takings have fallen by 60% since the curfew was implemented on September 24 compared to July when the pub on Bridge Street reopened after lockdown.

"We’ve lost nearly four hours opening time (usually our busiest times),” he said. “It’s had a massive impact on business and I'm buying stock three to four times a week rather than in one big hit in case I don’t get that money back through sales.

"I still have the same amount of bills to pay, I still have to have the door staff and more bar staff as table service only; it’s a higher cost for less income.”

Marcus is among 1,000 publicans who have signed an open letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak urging the Government to rethink the 10pm curfew, which has seen pubs face a business-threatening drop in trade.

After the second Friday night of the curfew, licensees reported huge drops in trade, many saying that October 2 was “the worst Friday ever”.

Many publicans are now considering whether to close their businesses and either mothball them until after the restrictions end or to walk away altogether, especially with many pubs still facing large rent bills.

Spearheaded by the Campaign for Pubs, the letter expresses publicans’ dismay at the lack of support from the Chancellor in his Winter Economic Statement and points out that without further help many pubs now face imminent closure under new Government-imposed restrictions.

Calls to the Government include:

*5% VAT on all sales in pubs;

*Grants to cover full costs if pubs cannot viably trade due to the current restrictions and have to close temporarily;

*A business rates holiday extension with a complete overhaul for business rates for pubs prior to recommencing;

The letter urges the Chancellor to meet with publicans to discuss how the industry is going to get through the next six months, stating that livelihoods are at risk.