The End of Pubs as we Know it?
With a national report showing pubs are closing at a rate of 18 a week pub owners are being warned to take action to save their businesses before it’s too late.
The report, by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), said cheap supermarket prices and rising beer taxes, combined with the general economic climate, were putting pressure on drinking establishments, with 450 pubs across the UK having closed their doors since March 2012.
My view is that despite the gloomy picture, pre-emptive action can always make the difference between staying afloat and being forced to close. However it has to be said that unfortunately, far too often, Insolvency Practitioners are approached for advice, when it is too late, resulting in the only options being to close the company, sell off the assets and place either place it into Administration or Liquidation. if a Company struggling with debt acts when the first warning signs appear then it is possible to turn it around and make a potentially disastrous situation into a positive experience.
Warning signs, reasons & stats…
Warning signs to look out for include getting behind on paying taxes, fewer sales than forecast, declining profit margins, threats of legal action and exceeding your overdraft limit. My company works with the client and related specialists such as finance houses, solicitors and business advisers to help businesses get back on track. If we do decide closure is the best option we can approach this from a position of strength rather than as a last resort, which can be far more costly.
Increased pressure on our wallets now means that going out for a drink is a luxury requiring careful thought. With the option of buying a £5 bottle of wine from the supermarket or spending that on just one glass at a bar, it’s a financial no-brainer for many. The smoking ban is also a deterrent. Added to this, the government’s annual beer duty escalator which means the tax on beer is always 2% above inflation leads to the price of the formerly humble pint being beyond the reach of many pockets. The beer duty has been hotly debated recently by the government, who are considering reviewing the arrangement after a petition against it was signed by more than 10,000 people. Although removing the duty will cost £35m in lost tax, it would be largely offset by the rise in sales and employment related taxes which would be generated were the duty to be frozen. Retaining the tax is not only robbing Peter to pay Paul it could actually create a downward spiral – with fewer people going to the pub, more closures and rising job losses adding to the country’s economic burden.
The British Beer and Pub Association said last month that sales of beer in pubs fell by 4.8%, with 51 million fewer pints poured compared with the same period a year ago.
Pub Debt Experts
Given the dramatic rise in this type of insolvency process, we have become experts in dealing with all pub related cases. This includes issues with breweries and bailiffs therefore if you should have any clients in this trade that may require our assistance,please feel free to call me on 0800 612 6197.
Can a Bailiff Do That?
The biggest issue I see when dealing with public houses is problems with the respective breweries where it has either become to expensive to by in the stock or bailiffs are sent in at an extra cost due to bills being paid late. If this sounds like one of your clients, then I may be able to advise them how to combat these issues so give me a call.