Hospitality firms have challenged MSP hopefuls to sign a pledge card ahead of May’s election to support the industry if voted in.
The sector has been among the most devastated by the coronavirus pandemic with businesses forced to close several times while adapting to rule changes.
Now the Scottish Hospitality Group has produced its own manifesto ahead of the Holyrood elections.
The blueprint includes recognising the extraordinary lengths that firms have gone to continue trading, the significant role they can play in communities and asking them to visit a cafe, restaurant, bar or other business so they can see the impact themselves.
Scottish Hospitality Group’s election pledge card
- Acknowledge the vital role that the hospitality sector plays in the fabric of Scotland’s economy, especially youth employment, rural employment, tourism, and food and drink production
- Recognise the huge impact on public services, public finances, suppliers, pensions and community investment that would result from a devastated hospitality sector
- Appreciate the extraordinary measures taken by responsible hospitality businesses and their staff to implement government rules and keep the public safe
- Visit a local hospitality business as soon as restrictions permit to see the measures in place, see how well staff are working and show support for those whose jobs or livelihoods depend on the sector
- Support an industry / government working group on a plan to bounce back stronger and on better contingency planning in case of similar disruption in future.
The hospitality industry election pledge card also calls for financial measures to support firms – including supporting a 5% permanent reduction on VAT on food services and accommodation, converting bounce back loans to grants for the hardest hit and supporting a sector-specific furlough scheme until at least March 2022.
Stephen Montgomery, spokesman for the Scottish Hospitality Group, said: “These are simple non-political requests and if a candidate isn’t prepared to support them then it suggests voters might like to ask them some serious questions about their views on this vital industry.
“Hospitality is worth £10.6bn to the Scottish economy annually and employs 285,000 people, many of whom are young Scots under 25.
Good news for a change today.
The Scottish Hospitality Group would like to thank @KateForbesMSP for confirming 100% rates relief for the year ahead.
— Scottish Hospitality Group #Hospitality (@ScottishGroup) February 16, 2021
“Our manifesto has been produced by industry professionals and outlines a clear plan for how the SHG can work with the government to ensure our industry survives.”
The Scottish Hospitality Group includes leading businesses across the country including the DRG Group, Buzzworks Holdings, Signature Pubs, Montpeliers, Manorview Group, Lisini Pub Co, G1 Group, the Townhead Hotel Lockerbie and Mor-Rioghain Group.