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Leeds Bars & Restaurants Call for a #NationalTimeOut to Help Them Survive COVID-19

· Ali Turner · Discussion

The city's bars and restaurants are fighting for survival.


Your signature could help save your favourite bars, restaurant and cafes.

COVID-19 changed the world as we know it almost overnight. We’re all waiting for the day we’re allowed to go back to normal, but for the city’s bars and restaurants, that day may come too late. The government has introduced a raft of measures to help hospitality businesses, but in the face of what could be a 9-month shutdown, it’s simply not enough, so they’re petitioning the government to back the Hospitality Union’s #NationalTimeOut initiative – and they need your help.

What is #NationalTimeOut?

North Brewing Co.

Credit: Chapter 81

#NationalTimeOut is a rescue plan for hospitality businesses. The hospitality industry was hit first and it hit was the hardest. Now they face the prospect of a prolonged shutdown, even after the lockdown has finished, and when they can finally reopen, they’ll likely be working at a loss because of social distancing measures.

There are 3.2 million hospitality jobs in the UK, but it’s estimated that as many as 2 million of them could be lost if businesses aren’t given more help. Why? Because more than half of the UK’s hospitality businesses will be forced to close their doors.

The solution? A 9 month #NationalRentFree period for hospitality businesses, combined with a loan and interest payment postponement for landlords, so everyone’s protected. That means all hospitality businesses, which includes theatres, cinemas and gyms, as well as the bars, restaurants and cafes that are supporting this campaign, won’t pay rent until 2021.

They’re not asking for taxpayers to keep them afloat, they’re asking for businesses, landlords, lenders and the government itself to come together to help protect hospitality businesses and hospitality jobs. It’s as much about protecting landlords as anyone else, but the best way to protect them is to protect their tenants.

How you can help

Red's True BBQ Pitmasters Tray

The bar and restaurant owners of Leeds have come together to petition the government to adopt the Hospitality Union’s #NationalTimeOut initiative. They already have over 1,000 signatures, but if they want to get the Chancellor’s attention, they’ll need more – lots more.

If you want to support your favourite bars and restaurants, the best way you can do it, beyond ordering a takeaway or buying a voucher, is to sign this petition and make the government stand up and take notice. Without #NationalTimeOut, we could lose our cherished independents, we could lose the very essence of Leeds. So sign it, share it and get the word out.