For most of the country the festive season has been one of tier 3 or tier 4 restrictions and nowhere has this been felt any more than across the hospitality industry. With the busiest time of the year having been missed in the run up to Christmas and New Years eve as one of the biggest single take nights of the year being missed out on 2020 has been bleak.
There have been stark warnings for how much of the hospitality industry is going to survive while forced to be closed. Kate Nicholls of UK Hospitality said that ‘“More financial support most be forthcoming if we are to have any hope that these businesses will survive. They can trade their way out of danger next year only if they are still around to do so.”
Terence Carvalho, General Manager of Becketts Southsea, echoed the thoughts of Kate Nicholls, when Portsmouth was placed in Tier 3/Tier 4 restrictions that ‘“It’s absolutely devastating we’ve been put into Tier 3 in Portsmouth however the statistics don’t lie so I cannot argue against them. I will however be asking our local MP what our government will be doing to aid the business in paying the overheads we have whilst having no income for yet another closure. It’s been such a stop start year and this latest closure comes after only being open for 2 and a half weeks! It’s extremely frustrating for Becketts as we have continue to thrive even with the previous tier 2 restrictions in place however I’m confident when we reopen again for a 3rd time and the team will hit the ground running and we’ll challenge for awards again.”
Carvalho continued by showing support for the business acumen of a city that normally thrives under free trading conditions by saying that “Portsmouth is a city steeped in many independent businesses. We were recently voted as being a city more entrepreneurial than London! It’s a credit to the amazing people we’ve got in our city who continue to fight for their businesses and livelihoods. Rest assured, I’ll be doing the same to ensure Becketts reopens stronger than ever and continues to strive as the best venue in Portsmouth!”
The industry banded together and started a petition for true representation in government by creating a ‘Minister of Hospitality’ to be a contact point for the industry after a year which has devastated many businesses. The petition soon gained a lot of support from well-known backers with Marcus Wearing, Angela Hartnett and Paul Ainsworth all supporting the petition. After passing the threshold of 100,000 signatures MPs will be debating the creation of the post on 11th January 2020.