Hospitality Businesses Tell MP What Support They Need


Categories: Coronavirus (COVID-19), Food and Drink, Local Business

Photograph: (Top left) Lee Robb, Alyn Smith MP, Matthew Gower, Colin Wilkinson, Paul Waterson, Paul Bedwell, Mandy Silver, Euan Bain, Paul Togneri, Andrew Mitchell, Jamie Grant, and Paul Smith.

Stirling MP Alyn Smith last week hosted a virtual roundtable discussion with key hospitality business leaders in the Stirling constituency to discuss what support businesses need as the country begins to ease lockdown restrictions. 

Mr Smith has held similar discussions with a range of different businesses over the past few months, at different stages of the pandemic. 

The roundtable discussion involved owners and managers of bars, pubs, nightclub, hotels, and restaurants based in the Stirling constituency. Discussions included liquor licence fees, social distancing restrictions and what that means for trade, opening hours, and financial support. 

Commenting, Alyn Smith said:

‘This was a really useful discussion and part of a series that I’ve been hosting recently with organisations and businesses from across the constituency. The pandemic has meant that we have now lived our lives dramatically differently for the past year in order to keep people safe, and this has had a severe impact on business. 

‘As we look to relaxing some of the restrictions we’ve been living under, it is crucial that businesses are listened to and that their needs are addressed. What we learned from coming out of the first lockdown is that not every business was in a position to operate fully as soon as they were opened. Restrictions around the number of people who can be on the premises and opening hours had an impact on overall trade. 

‘What came out of this discussion with local hospitality business leaders has informed representations that I am now able to make to ministerial colleagues in the Scottish Government, as well as officials on Stirling Council. 

‘Hospitality is part of the overall tourism offering the Stirling area makes to those visiting. It is a major industry, a significant party of our economy, and a large employer in the area. I want to see it return to as close to normal as soon as possible, however this needs to be done so safely, so that we don’t risk a return of high levels of the virus in our communities and find ourselves with more restrictions.

‘I look forward to further discussions of this nature, so that local businesses can best use me to make their voices heard in government.’