Our three prime business objectives in dealing with the Covid-19 challenge are:
1. Protecting and supporting the health, safety and welfare of Employees, Everards Business Owners (Tenants) and their Staff and Communities.
2. Retaining Everards talented Business Owners and attracting the finest Business Owners to join Everards.
3. Ensuring that coming out of this Pandemic, Everards as a business is strong, fit, remaining innovative and well prepared to compete in the future.
The support of the Government in contributing to the delivery of these objectives is much valued and appreciated. Through the fine work of the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) and UK Hospitality, the Government realised early that the hospitality industry would be severely impacted by lockdown measures and responded well to that reality. I would expect the same logic to follow in terms of a new, refreshed package of Government support for the Hospitality sector, as inevitably it will be one of the last sectors to fully come out of lockdown measures.
As a business we have responded to the challenge in a number of ways:
- 70% of Employees have been furloughed on full pay which will be reviewed at the end of May. The Government’s portal to process payments has worked very well.
- Directors salaries have been cut by an average of 30% and the full year Dividend payment to shareholders cancelled.
- Our Everards Family Foundation has donated £50,000 to Age UK Leicester Shire & Rutland. The money will directly support older people in our local community who find themselves in greater need during the Covid-19 crisis and will provide essential services including befriending calls, collecting essentials like food and prescriptions, and getting people to hospital appointments.
- Business Owner Rent payments have been cancelled (not deferred) for both April and May. (We shared the announcement to all Business Owners via video stating that “We are aware that the provision of Government Grants for some Business Owners was put in place to contribute to business expenses including rent. However, wage support payments are only being processed in the next few days (so cash for wages have had to be provided by Business Owners to date) and around 30% of grants are yet to be paid so it is viewed to be too early to consider charging a proportion of grants received to rent”). This position will be reviewed again at the end of May.