Thursday 06 August 2020
Green Party NI MLA Rachel Woods has said that she is concerned for the future of small, local pubs and social clubs after the government delayed the reopening of so-called "wet pubs". The reopening was scheduled for Monday but has been pushed back until 01 September at the earliest.
Rachel Woods MLA said: "This is a worrying development for smaller bars and social clubs. Many of these establishments are family owed and run or they are part of a community group or sports club. The ability of these places to absorb loss of revenue is non existent. The concern is that these places may never reopen and our communities lose important assets.
Rachel continued: "I understand that ifthe medical and scientific evidence dictates that the "wet pubs" shouldn't reopen, but we have not been afforded the opportunity to see this. If the decision is taken to wait, based on public health, then the Executive must provide further financial assistance to those who are effected.
"It presents a real disconnect in that other bars and restaurants can reopen if they serve a meal and indeed the Treasury is incentivising people to go out with the extremely popular Eat Out to Help Out offer.
"Who is there to help out these often smaller establishments? What about the businesses that have ploughed money into refubshiments in anticipation of reopening? What about the staff that were ready to come back after the weekend?
"We need a consistent approach to managing our way out of lockdown. The Executive must commit to building back better by ensuring that small, community pubs and social clubs are not left behind."
Sinead McIvor - 07701 302 498