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Coronavirus Impact On Trade

CoronavirusThere cannot be a soul who has not been affected by the current coronavirus pandemic but the On Trade has been hit particularly hard. With pubs and restaurants closed worldwide their future is uncertain. A bitter blow, especially as the ONS recently reported that the number of pubs and bars operating in the UK rose last year for the first time in a decade. Here in the UK staff have been furloughed and emergency legislation has given all commercial properties a 3 month rent reprieve. In other attempts to keep the industry afloat, the WTSA called for the collection of alcohol duty to be suspended for 6 months and denounced the timing of the Scottish government’s move to introduce a bottle deposit return scheme. UK duty did not get suspended, but the government did add off-licences to the list of businesses deemed “essential” during the lockdown.  One trader in Maryland is trying to keep service going by using its pet boxer dog to deliver orders to the public in the carpark.  This follows the WHO advice that pets cannot carry the virus. We have certainly seen some ingenious ways to keep businesses running recently. We are all grateful to the many spirits producers who have turned their skills and equipment to making alcoholic hand sanitisers.  Who knows how long the demand for it will go on!?