According to new research, two pubs per day are shutting their doors since the business rates hike was imposed last April.
Altus Group, a real estate adviser, has said that around 616 pubs have already been demolished or turned to other uses since the modification in business rates came into force.
However, the overall rate of the decline has slowed down since the decade following the financial crisis and the smoking ban. Between April of 2010 and 2017, four pubs shut down every day in the United Kingdom.
There was also some good news for the Capital, where the number of pubs has increased to 3,947 at an opening rate that averages at one new pub every three days.
The UK president of business rates at Altus Group, Alex Probyn, stated: “The increase in the thresholds at which pubs pay business rates coupled with the additional £25million of rates relief has, undoubtedly, stemmed the decline.”
In 2017, Phillip Hammond, the chancellor, granted 90 percent of the pubs a discount amounting to £1,000 on their business rates. After being extended at the Autumn budget, this will currently cover the 2018/19 bills as well.
However, the pub industry has still requested the sector to be granted more relief, noting a combination of costs that include the increased minimum wage and VAT as a major burden on the businesses.
Even JD Wetherspoon, the massive pub chain, has said that it will be affected by the business rates during the second half of the year.
At the Autumn Budget, Hammond surrendered to pressure to freeze alcohol duties, granting some relief across the hospitality sector.