Thousands of pubs in Britain are in danger of going bankrupt. Since last year, “staggering” rates of closing have been blamed on high energy costs.
The Daily Mail says that rising petrol prices could force thousands of pubs in the UK to close this year.
More than 1,000 pubs closed in the UK in 2022, with 485 closing in the first half of the year and 554 closing from July to December. This is “a staggering rate of 21 per week,” according to the Mail, which cited data from the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).
In 2020 and 2021, COVID restrictions will hurt the British pub business a lot. Last year, gas prices went through the roof because of the Ukraine conflict and the sanctions put on Russia, which was a big supplier of gas to Europe.
Some pubs’ monthly electricity bills have tripled, and one owner was charged a “whopping £2,097 [$2,600] for just 10 days’ worth of energy,” according to the Daily Mail.
The UK government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme, which set a cap on energy costs, came to an end on Friday. This is why the numbers are out now. Non-residential energy users can now get discounts on their high energy bills through a new plan that will run for a year.
The goal of the initiative is to help businesses that signed energy contracts when prices were very high. In the past few months, wholesale energy prices have started to go down and are now back to where they were right before the conflict in Ukraine started. But the government says that the businesses might not have passed on the savings.
Sky News reported last week that the Federation of Small Businesses didn’t like the plans because they wouldn’t help business owners pay their bills.
CAMRA says that about 6,000 small, independent pubs are on the verge of going out of business.
Dave Hayward, a member of CAMRA and the owner of a beer shop, told the Daily Mail, “The industry has months left.” “After that, it’s going to be a real massacre.”