COVID-19: Last Orders for Over 9,500 Licensed Premises
It has been impossible to avoid the news reports and articles discussing the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on businesses up-and-down the UK. All you need to do is walk down your local high street or through the city centre and you will see empty commercial buildings. This particularly rings true for the hospitality industry which has been decimated by the pandemic.
Even with schemes such as “Eat Out to Help Out”, the latest market recovery reports indicate that the hospitality industry, which includes bars, pubs, and restaurants, has seen around 9,900 sites call last orders and close their doors for good since the start of the pandemic. It also shows that 980 sites closed between June and September 2021 alone.
Unfortunately, it seems these numbers are likely to continue to grow with the sector facing several operational challenges such as labour shortages, disruption to their supply chains, and the rising costs of energy and products likely leading to further job losses and closures.
Furthermore, as outlined in our recent article here, the protection afforded to businesses against winding up petitions have been phased out from the beginning of this month. This could lead to additional challenges for those businesses struggling financially. However, as discussed in the previous article, commercial businesses still have the benefit of some protection under the CIGA 2020, including in relation to commercial rent arrears, and any creditor presenting a winding up petition must follow a prescribed procedure.
We at Geldards understand that this is a very difficult time for business across all sectors. However, do not leave it too late to speak with someone if you have concerns about your business and potential solvency issues. If you have any queries, do not hesitate to get in contact with Geldards LLP’s specialist Commercial Dispute Resolution and Insolvency departments.