Pubs face struggle for survival, thousands of jobs in jeopardy, survey suggests

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Up to 12.500 jobs in Scotland's licensing industry could be lost as sales plunge due to the coronavirus pandemic, a major survey has indicated.

The warning comes as the Scottish Licensed Trade Association released an annual survey of more than 10 per cent of the country's retail premises today.

This large-scale poll showed that 45 percent of business owners did not expect to return to 'normal trading' until a vaccine had been identified.

The study, funded by KPMG, suggests that up to a fourth of the industry's 50.000 jobs could be lost by cutting opening hours for many companies and the associated threat to jobs.

Colin Wilkinson, the chief executive of the SLTA, said: "The impact of Covid has been more severe for Scotland's pubs and bars than virtually any other sector, and we now face the stark reality that up to 12.500 jobs could be lost as nearly 90% of premises report that their revenue is down versus last year.

Because many people work from home and local restrictions are in place an important sector of employment in Scotland is facing unprecedented difficulties and there is a real threat to jobs from permanent shutdowns and job losses in the current business climate."

Alistair McAlinden, the Head of Catering and Leisure at KPMG in Scotland, said: "It's incredibly concerning but not entirely surprising, to hear that so many licensed trade operators across Scotland are worried about large-scale job losses and possible business failures over the next twelve months.