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What the extra bank holiday means for small businesses

3-minute read

Catriona Smith

6 May 2022

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If you’re a hospitality, leisure, or retail business, then you’ll likely be hoping for a much-needed boost from the Queen’s Jubilee holiday trade.

And with less than a month until the next bank holiday in the UK, we’re taking a look at what these celebratory days might mean for small businesses.

When is the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee bank holiday?

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee bank holiday is on Friday 3 June.

The late May bank holiday for the UK has been moved to Thursday 2 June, giving Brits a bumper four-day bank holiday this year.

Meanwhile, hospitality, leisure, and retail businesses are hoping for an extra economic boost as people flock to towns and cities to celebrate the long weekend.

Licencing hours extended for pubs

Pubs, clubs, and bars across England and Wales are welcoming extended hours over the Jubilee weekend.

Closing times have been extended from 11pm to 1am from Thursday 2 June to Saturday 4 June.

Home Secretary, Priti Patel said: “Over the extended bank holiday weekend, we will be able to raise a glass to toast Her Majesty’s incredible service to our country, while also providing a boost to the hospitality industry after a challenging couple of years.”

However, off-licences and supermarkets won’t be allowed to sell alcohol for extended hours.

Hospitality sector set to benefit from street parties

Communities and businesses across the UK will be planning street parties to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June.

If you’re a local pub, extending out onto the street with music and an outdoor bar could be a great way to attract more customers and connect with your community.

However, there’s a few things you’ll need to do first:

Food truck businesses and children’s entertainment businesses may also see a peak in demand as the nation gathers for parties and events over the weekend.

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Call for extra bank holiday to be made permanent

A campaign backed by business leaders and UK Hospitality is urging the UK government to make the additional bank holiday marking the Queen’s Jubilee permanent.

In an open letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak, campaigners say the extra bank holiday would be “a moment every year for individuals and communities to come together, to thank those who have contributed in ways big and small to making our country a better place to live, and to create new bonds that will strengthen our society.”

Supporters of the so-called ‘Thank Holiday’ include Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden.

CAMRA national chairman Nik Antona told the Morning Advertiser: “We urge the government to consider making this extra bank holiday a permanent feature in the calendar, as we believe it would be both economically and socially beneficial for communities up and down the country.”

However it’s unclear if the government will back the proposals. In a report in the Guardian, a spokesperson for No 10 said an extra bank holiday “presents a considerable and significant cost to our economy and therefore each proposal would have to be considered carefully on that basis.”

A substantial boost to retail, hospitality, and leisure

Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business, comments: “Making this year’s additional bank holiday for the Queen’s Jubilee permanent would provide a much needed – and long-lasting – boost to small businesses in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors. Holiday trading periods are vital to these businesses, accounting for a significant portion of their annual revenue.”

“This year’s additional bank holiday comes at a pivotal moment. Independent retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19, losing a staggering £40,000 each on average due to the pandemic – almost double the £22,000 average losses reported by UK small businesses. What’s more, the VAT and business rates rise implemented at this year’s Spring Statement will also significantly hit the pockets of owners in these industries at a crucial point in their road to recovery.”

He added: “An additional bank holiday every year would provide a substantial boost to small business owners across retail, hospitality, and leisure, at a time when it’s needed most.”

UKHospitality CEO, Kate Nicholls, said: “We welcome that the Government has seen the importance of extending licensing hours for an occasion as momentous as the Platinum Jubilee Weekend, when pubs and bars are likely to be a focus of community celebrations.”

Is your business doing anything special to mark the occasion? Let us know in the comments.

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Photograph: Monkey Business/stock.adobe.com

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