Swindon publican praises Government after new business friendly policies announced to lessen coronavirus impact

By Jamie Hill - 18 March 2020

BusinessFood & Drink

Yesterday Swindon publican Ed Dyer, one of the owners of The Tuppenny on Devizes Road, hit out at The Government's policy when it came to the hospitality industry during this Covid-19 crisis saying it was like throwing everyone to the wolves. But after last night's announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak which revealed a whole raft of policies to help businesses he has praised some of the help that they will be getting. On social media he said: -


So, following on from my rants of Monday and Tuesday..... I feel a huge sense of partial relief. 24 hours after the PM dropped a bomb on the hospitality industry, telling our customers to stay away, with no seeming assistance available to enable us to claim on insurance or from government funds, up pops the Chancellor like some kind of minimalist superhero with some pretty impressive sounding figures and promises. It is all in the timing gents, as you caused me and the rest of the industry 24 hours of total and utter panic, despair and fear. Surely these kind of announcements that relate to each other can be tied in together in future to avoid people going on the radio and ending up sounding like a whining ninny who isn't getting his own way?

Initial examinations of the promised help look reasonably positive. We have a year off paying business rates, can qualify for a grant, the top figures of which seem reasonable, can apply for a loan with 6 months interest free, and apparently the government are taking steps to force the insurance industry to pay out on business interruption policies, if held, by officially calling this situation a "business interruption", hopefully negating the ability of the insurance companies to use the "this wasn't a specified communicable disease on your policy because nobody had heard of it when you took it out" excuse. Of course, this is providing your policy covers pandemics or government ordered closures....

Ultimately, this all relies on the speed and co-operation of local authorities, banks, and insurance companies and there is precious little detail available at the moment regarding this, so we are in a wait-and-see situation. Additionally, the bigger numbers are all structured as loans, which, unless longer term fiscal help will be made available (which was hinted at), means that getting in debt is the likely course of action for most businesses, which prolongs their recovery, but does enable survival. People are already being made redundant so any delay causes further heartache and job losses, and support for people in this situatuation has yet to be clarified fully.

So, in summary, things are looking way more hopeful than they were 24 hours ago, and unless this is a long term situation, we should be able to ride this out. In the meantime, don't forget to get your home-delivery beer orders in. We are incresing the service we offer ahead of the weekend too, so keep an eye on the The Tuppenny page for info.

Seen a few easy guides to help if needed too:

For businesses: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

For you: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2020/03/uk-coronavirus-help-and-your-rights/?utm_source=MSE_Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=18-Mar-20-50597964-2354&utm_campaign=nt-hiya&utm_content=3

You can read Ed's original article here

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Registered in England & Wales. No: 4513027, Positive Media Group, Old Bank House, 5 Devizes Road, Old Town, Swindon, SN1 4BJ