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SOS: New campaign launched to save Scottish hospitality

10/11/2023
Stephen Montgomery (Scottish Hospitality Group)

THE SCOTTISH Hospitality Group has launched a new campaign to Save Our Scottish Hospitality. Launching the campaign, the Scottish Hospitality Group warns the Scottish Government that there is just five weeks to save the Scottish hospitality industry from disaster. 

The Scottish hospitality sector faces a crisis, with many businesses struggling to recover from the double economic punch of the COVID-19 pandemic and the cost of rising inflation and energy prices.   

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This double economic punch has disproportionately hit the hospitality sector – more than any other sector of the Scottish economy. Since March 2020, over 15,000 hospitality businesses venues have shut across the UK. According to the Scottish Government’s own survey, three in five (60%) hospitality businesses have seen production, suppliers or both affected by higher energy prices and almost half have been forced to pass these higher costs on to consumers. 

The SOS: Save Our Scottish Hospitality campaign calls on the Scottish Government to use the Scottish Budget in December to provide emergency support for the hospitality industry to survive, and a new long-term deal to support the sector to thrive. The campaign calls for: 

  • an emergency 75% business rates relief to match the support that hospitality businesses in England & Wales have received over the last year; 
  • creation of a new hospitality category for business rates, which would recognise the unique challenges faced by hospitality and ensure that rates don’t cripple hospitality businesses; 
  • a new partnership between the hospitality industry and government to develop a plan to grow Scotland’s much-loved hospitality industry and address the challenges it faces. 

Stephen Montgomery, Director of the Scottish Hospitality Group, said: 

The hospitality industry – our pubs, bars, clubs, cafes, restaurants and hotels – makes a vital contribution to Scotland’s economy and they are embedded in the heart of our communities. 

“But the hospitality industry faces a crisis and we can’t go on like this. Without government support,  there will be higher prices for consumers, a loss of jobs, and many of our best-loved hospitality businesses closing their doors forever.” 

“We need to back our hospitality industry to survive and thrive. A new, fairer deal on business rates would be one step the Government can take in the Budget to give our hospitality industry a fighting chance. A freeze in rates or the status quo won’t be enough. We need both emergency support and long-term reform. This is an SOS – we need help to make sure Scottish hospitality can survive”.

As part of the campaign, members of the public and politicians are asked to show their support for Scottish hospitality. The Scottish Hospitality Group represents many of Scotland’s best-loved, family and independently-owned hospitality businesses – from bars, pubs, and cafes to restaurants and hotels. The Group was recently relaunched with an expanded membership, in every area of Scotland and collectively employing more than 6,000 people.  

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