More than 200 CEO's from across the UK's hospitality sector have called on the government to provide immediate support for businesses.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, the trade body has said that, unless financial support is swift, then the sector is looking at unprecedented levels of closures and job losses across the nation.
UK Hospitality is calling for:
- Extension of the business rates and NIC payment break to all hospitality businesses for at least six months
- The UK to follow the lead of other countries such as the USA, France and Denmark by committing to additional working capital support while funding salaries and retaining staff
- Pressure on landlords and banks to avoid forfeiture of rent payments.
UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: "This is by far the greatest crisis we have had to face as a sector. Venues are already closing and people are already losing their jobs.
"Unless we get immediate financial support from the Government, the country's hospitality sector will cease to exist in any recognisable capacity."
Meanwhile, Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association said: "The severity of the COVID-19 crisis is now impacting on pubs with devastating effect. The very existence of thousands of pubs and a lot more jobs is now at risk.
"The government needs to give clear instructions and detail on the support package to rescue the sector and hundreds of thousands of jobs. "
"Urgent measures to support cash flows and enable cost reductions is an absolute necessity. Government action now will save thousands of jobs and save our pubs.
"Support for pubs now is an investment in the long-term future of communities across the UK without it we risk losing our community assets forever."