In a letter to the Chancellor, more than 200 industry leaders and trade bodies have warned that more hospitality businesses will go under unless a substantial package of support is announced in the Budget next week.

The joint letter has been signed by UKHospitality, the British Beer and Pub Association and the British Institute of Innkeeping, as well as representatives from leading pub, restaurants, hotel and leisure businesses, including Steve Holmes, Azzurri Group; Simon Emeny, Fullers; James Spragg, The Big Table; and Nick McKenzie, Greene King.

It states that one in five businesses do not have enough cash to survive until the end of February; nearly two-thirds do not have enough cash to survive until the end of May; and that trading restrictions will leave businesses unable to breakeven until the June lifting of restrictions.

Alongside an extension of the 5% VAT rate, the letter also calls on the Chancellor to widen the cut to include other products and services across hospitality. It also implores the government to consider a full business rates holiday for 2021/22, and extension of full furlough with no National Insurance contributions for closed businesses, and enhanced grants for hospitality business until 21 June, among other requests.

In a joint statement, the trade bodies said: “This week’s announcement of the plan for reopening the economy has sent shock waves through the nation’s hospitality businesses. There is a genuine fear amongst many in our sector that businesses are going to fail and jobs will be lost at the eleventh hour.

“The Chancellor must announce a substantial package of financial support at next month’s Budget to keep these businesses alive until the summer. The sector will not be back to viable trading until restrictions are removed in June so emergency support needs to reflect this.

They added: “After a year of misery, the end is now finally in sight. The Government cannot allow business to fail now, when the reopening of our sector is within touching distance. Members of the public are desperately looking forward to socialising with their friends and family, for the first time in over a year in many cases. If the Government does not act, they may not be able to.”