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Calendar highlights dire situation for hospitality sector  

Hospitality Ulster has created a Lockdown Calendar highlighted the very limited number of days non-food serving traditional pubs have been open since March 23, 2020.

“We welcome that the Economy Minister has now laid out the detail for the support scheme for our non-food serving traditional pubs who have been so severely impacted since the start of the pandemic,” said Colin Neill, chief executive, Hospitality Ulster.

“The harsh reality is that since March last year, non-food traditional pubs have only been able to open for 23 out of a total of a potential 290 trading days and under severe restrictions at that. Those that have been able to survive this far have been lucky, many will never open their doors again.

“This grant funding will be used to offset debt which has accumulated over the months and months of closure. The cost of having the doors shut, no trade, but still having to keep businesses alive has had such a negative financial impact on owners.

“We now need the department to waste no time in getting in contact with those who are eligible and get money out to as many as possible in the shortest space of time.

“The next step is the formulation of a recovery plan for the industry to make sure that those who survive these awful circumstances stand a fighting chance.”

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