Facebook - Birmingham Business Twitter - Birmingham Business Instagram - Birmingham Business
https://thebbrs.org/birmingham/ https://www.lokiwine.co.uk

Top chefs call for hospitality support

Top chefs and restaurant owners from across the region have joined forces with Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce to voice concerns over the imminent reversal of VAT rate reductions.

In a letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, the Chamber and well-known hospitality industry figures such as Simpsons owner Andreas Antona and TV chef Glynn Purnell are calling for an extension to the rates reduction in a bid to drive consumer demand.

The letter – signed by more than 30 representatives from the hospitality and dining sector – also urges the Chancellor to use his Autumn Budget to reform the “outdated” business rates system.

A temporary reduced VAT rate of five per cent that was introduced to help hospitality and tourism firms through the Covid-19 crisis is due to expire tomorrow.

But the Chamber says the pandemic has had “pronounced effect” on the hospitality industry and is calling for several measures to be implemented:

Chamber vice-president Deb Leary, who joined a number of top chefs and restaurateurs at Simpsons in Edgbaston to launch the appeal, said: “While we recognise the unparalleled support businesses have received during the pandemic, the damaging impact of Covid-19 has been particularly pronounced across the hospitality industry.

“As a Chamber we are delighted to be working alongside the hospitality industry across Greater Birmingham as we call on the Government to do everything it possibly can to help the sector get back on its feet and firing again as we emerge from the pandemic.

“In particular, maintaining a long-term reduction in VAT will play a vital role in fuelling demand and safeguarding thousands of jobs across the industry. Ultimately, it’s essential the Government also brings forward business rate reform to ease the massive overheads businesses are experiencing in order to facilitate a return to growth in the long term.”

Andreas Antona, chef patron and owner of Simpsons in Birmingham, said: “We are grateful for what the Government has done so far but they now need to recognise that we need long-term support to really get back on our feet. It’s far too soon to raise VAT and we need more time to give us a levelling playing-field as we recover from the impact of the shutdowns.”

TV personality Glynn Purnell, proprietor and head chef at Purnell's restaurant in Birmingham, said: “We definitely need breathing space before VAT goes up again. We are going through a honeymoon period at the moment with many people treating themselves to a nice meal out to compensate for not being able to take the holiday they would like.

“But that will not last for ever and we need help to return to pre-pandemic levels in the long term. We hope that the government will recognise that.”

Pictured: Back, from left, Glynn Purnell (Purnells), Alex Claridge (The Wilderness), Adam Stokes (Adam’s), Jayne O'Malley (The Edgbaston), Brad Carter (Carters of Moseley), Raj Kandola (head of policy, GBCC). Front, Deb Leary (Chamber vice-president) and Andreas Antona (Simpsons)