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Independent Pubs: Covid-19

Volume 677: debated on Tuesday 16 June 2020

We have provided a significant package of support to pubs—including a one-year business rates holiday and access to grants of up to £25,000 per qualifying property—through a number of schemes. That is alongside the business support available to all sectors, including access to the coronavirus job retention scheme and various Government-backed loan schemes.

Pubs in Wolverhampton such as the Merry Hill, Oddfellows and the Mount Tavern will have been impacted by covid-19. I welcome the measures the Minister outlined, but what is the longer-term strategy to help pubs to return to a profitable state and to become the vital community hubs that they were before?

I thank my hon. Friend for that question, because it is vital that we recognise how important such businesses are as community hubs. We recognise that trading conditions may be challenging for many businesses for some time to come. We will continue to work with the sector, both to prepare for reopening and afterwards. I understand that the Minister responsible for small business—the Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, my hon. Friend the Member for Sutton and Cheam (Paul Scully)—plans to continue to meet representatives of the sector regularly.