Ahead of this year’s General Election, the ALMR has restated the need to address concerns about increasing property costs for licensed hospitality businesses.
The ALMR is building upon its work campaigning on issues surrounding commercial leases, business rates and property costs to outline its strategy in the run-up to the General Election.
ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “Pubs, bars and restaurants can play a crucial role in regenerating high streets and promoting prosperity in local economies. The licensed hospitality sector’s ability to act as a driver for growth is currently being hampered by prohibitive property costs, however, and we are being prevented from achieving more.
“Restrictive lease terms accompanied by a lack of transparency and flexibility in the market lead to distortions, and property bubbles and undermines business viability. Limitations and prohibitive costs are also seeing a trend towards limited length leases which is fostering a short term mentality towards business investment which is threatening stability.”
ALMR members will meet this week to build upon the work being done regarding pubs and bars to address concerns for casual dining members and the casual dining sector at large.
Nicholls concluded: “We have received feedback, particularly amongst our casual dining members, that competition for sites and the impact of property costs on business viability is their number one concern so we are taking action to address that in our latest campaign initiative.
“The ALMR will be holding a roundtable meeting this week to outline areas of concern for our members and to identify the challenges that hospitality business, particularly in the casual dining sector, are facing. The fruits of this meeting will form part of our ongoing work to lobby against prohibitive property costs for the sector as a whole.
“We are working with Government and other stakeholders to provide accurate benchmarked information on rental valuations that can be used to inform the future review of business rates. We are also looking to work with the High Street Forum to encourage pan-industry dialogue between businesses, authorities and regulators with a view to reviewing the Business Leasing Code 2007 to encourage town centre regeneration.
“The next few months, as we approach a busy period of campaigning, are important for sector. The ALMR will be working hard to ensure that property costs for hardworking businesses are on the agenda and to make the case to support growth throughout our industry.”