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The Royal Oak pub in Hounslow

Government support has been a lifeline claims Hounslow pub owner

The owner of a pub in Hounslow says the support provided by the Government for local businesses has helped them survive.

Adrianne Mead, 54, who has been running the Royal Oak for six years, admitted it is difficult to know how the business is going to look when they eventually do open.

She said she is positive about the upcoming year as a lot of people will be staying at home rather than travelling abroad.

However, she admitted It is hard to stay motivated with the uncertainty.

She said: “Even though the staff are getting the money they’d all rather be at work.

“The support from the government has been really helpful and we would have really struggled without it.

“The grants have been really useful, the VAT break, obviously it has been useful. It’s due to finish in March, but obviously because we’ve been closed for so much of that period it would be nice to see that extended. It did make a difference when we were open.

“The Hounslow Council grant process has been very easy to navigate quickly.”

TAKEAWAY: Roast dinners have been a popular choice during lockdown

To access government grants businesses must apply through the council.

There are several schemes running, such as £1,000 for each fortnight your closed and national grants.

Mead said: “It certainly has kept our head above water.”

“We were open for 13 days before we had to close again. Every time we open and shut, you’ve got more stock that you’re having to get rid of.

“This has been really difficult mentally as well, it’s been difficult to keep ourselves positive, but we’re trying.”

The pub is providing a take-away service with their roast dinner being the most popular order and hosts a virtual quiz every Sunday.

The pub also had to close recently due to a positive case in the kitchen meaning all staff had to isolate.

Latest industry monitoring figures released last week show the plight it is facing – with a net loss of almost 6,000 licensed premises last year, triple the tally in 2019.

After 10 months of closure or restricted trade, pubs and restaurant operators have called on the Government to offer a clearer roadmap, setting out when they can resume trading.

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