The British Hospitality Association (BHA) is urging the Government to act early in support of hospitality businesses across the UK as they struggle to cope with the effects of flooding and the winter storms, which are now in their third month.
With warnings from the Met Office and Environment Agency that the adverse weather is set to continue – causing severe flooding to more homes and businesses across the UK, as well as playing havoc with the transport network – the BHA has released a statement urging the Government to support the hospitality industry in two ways:
- By creating a tourism marketing budget to attract people back to flood-hit areas
- By giving business in affected areas a moratorium on VAT, PAYE and corporation tax payments to help their cash flows
Hospitality venues in the west, south and south-west are worst affected, with many still trying to recover from loss of business over the busy Christmas period.
Ufi Ibrahim, CEO of the BHA, says: “The impact of these storms is potentially catastrophic for hospitality and tourism businesses in the affected areas. The ripple effect is also hitting other businesses, as tourists are being put off visiting parts of the UK because of the severe weather. We have to act now to plan for the future, and we are keen to ensure that our industry has learned the lessons from the past and is helped by the Government to quickly set a path to recovery.”
Follow up – 18th February 2014
The BHA has welcomed yesterday’s Government announcement for an additional £10m business support scheme to help flood-affected businesses.
Ufi Ibrahim says: “Despite the catastrophic effects of flooding on UK hospitality and tourism businesses, our industry has – and continues to – rally together to support their local communities and the people living in them. What we are witnessing here is the enduring resilience and community spirit for which our industry has become renowned.”