HELLO and welcome to the AM Business Briefing, as pub giant Greene King has called on the Scottish Government to direct more support to the hospitality sector to save jobs.

It comes as the industry was poleaxed by a wave of Christmas cancellations after Omicron advice.

Nick Mackenzie, chief executive Greene King, which has over 150 pubs and restaurants in Scotland including the Belhaven brand, said the industry needs longer term support through the winter months to save livelihoods.

Mr Mackenzie said: “The current public health situation is clearly serious and our teams will continue offering a safe and welcoming visit for our customers, but the measures announced in Scotland will have a significant and detrimental impact on all hospitality businesses. 

"Our teams are already going above and beyond in their pubs and a need to enforce collection of customer contact details and social distancing would be a further challenge."


He said: “We welcome the announcement of financial support for those affected by the government’s announcement last week around work Christmas parties, but in reality the ripple effects on customer confidence will continue and the £100m announced is unlikely to go far among all the thousands of businesses affected.

“The industry needs urgent further support over the difficult winter months to protect jobs and livelihoods.”  

Holyrood announced the £100m amid tightening of measures in response to the Omicron variant and Scottish finance secretary Kate Forbes has called more cash from the Treasury after it announced it would release £220m of funds early to help tackle Covid. 

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