08th June 2021

Economies of ale: pubs in the time of COVID-19

Pubs were among those businesses forced to close during restrictions introduced to halt the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). In their own words, landlords shared their experiences of the effect of lockdown on their businesses.

8 June 2021

Pub landlords' “high confidence” about their future business survival has peaked above 20% for the first time

In May 2021, the percentage of pub and bar owners who had “high confidence” in their establishment surviving the next three months passed 20% for the first time since November 2020.

We can’t wait to open again.

Pub and bar owners, beginning of April 2021

Pubs and bars were among the thousands of non-essential businesses told to close since the first coronavirus lockdown in March 2020. At that time there were 38,870 pubs and bars in the UK employing 467,000 people.

While funding schemes have been introduced by the government to help keep these businesses alive until they are able to resume trading fully, the series of lockdown measures have resulted in the establishments shutting up shop for months at a time.

We cannot cover our outgoings; we are constantly accruing debt.

Pub and bar owners, February 2021

For this article, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is using the results of the Business Insights and Conditions Survey (BICS) from October 2020 onwards, which shows that in October 2020, just 6% of landlords had “high confidence” that their establishments would survive beyond three months. By early February 2021, the proportion of “high confidence” had dropped to its lowest recorded level of 1%.

Pub and bar business confidence has been weak compared with all other businesses but is starting to improve

Percentage of businesses who reported high, medium and low confidence of survival over the next three months, UK, 2 November 2020 to 16 May 2021



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