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Scotland Deposit Return Scheme, momentum grows for the delayed scheme

Scotland will be the first country in the UK to implement a Deposit Return Scheme on the 1st July 2022. The delayed scheme will offer a 20p payment for wine bottles and cans returned.
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Scotland will be the first country in the UK to implement a Deposit Return Scheme on the 1st July 2022. The delayed scheme will offer a 20p payment for wine bottles and cans returned.

This week Accolade Wines, one the country's biggest wine suppliers, became a founding partner to the scheme.

If you put your bottles out for recycling you will need to pay an extra 20p per bottle, or make an extra journey to recover the money. It is an awful lot of administration and cost, to increase recycling rates.

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UK road map out of Covid-19 published

The UK government published its long-awaited path out of Covid lockdown this week. The long slow release of the lockdown is hoped, alongside vaccinations, to ensure that the UK does not require another full lockdown.

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The UK government published its long-awaited path out of Covid lockdown this week. The long slow release of the lockdown is hoped, alongside vaccinations, to ensure that the UK does not require another full lockdown.

The key dates for the hospitality industry are

8 March Schools re-open, students can now take wine trade exams
29 March Groups of up to 6 can meet outdoors.
12 April Non-essential retail can open and Hospitality can serve people outdoors.
17 May Indoor hospitality opens up.
21 June All legal restrictions removed and nightclubs are allowed to open up.

The plan is tentative and delays in the dates are likely, but the hope is that with the successful vaccination program, the Covid-19 transmission risk will decrease over the summer. The big risk will be a new variant that could increase infection and deaths again. The way to mitigate against this will be to ensure that the whole population is vaccinated by next winter. This is possible, but it is highly likely that older, more vulnerable people may need a booster shot to help manage any new variants. Vaccines are going to be with us for a while.

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Debt the big headache for hospitality

The UK government's £50k bounce back loan scheme may have saved many businesses but will restrict bounce back recovery.
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The UK government's £50k bounce back loan scheme may have saved many businesses but will restrict bounce back recovery.

The scheme is due to start taking loan repayments, 12 months after the loan was issued. For some, payments will start in April. The loans, while a life line in the early days of the pandemic, will now hamper business. Some business have borrowed significantly more. For example Xavier Rousset MS, owner of Blandford Comptoir, Cabotte and Black Book, borrowed £50,000 for each of his 5 restaurants, a total debt of £250,000. It will only be manageable if we can trade properly in the next few months and years Rousset said to Harpers News.

According to Luke Davis, CEO of IW Capital, the rising debt that has resulted from loans that will only provide a short-term solution. Inevitably, this will result in an increase in overheads and could lead to the “demise of a lot of businesses”. The debt they have accumulated is not just from government backed loans, as many would have also taken on traditional loans or asset finance and do everything they can to keep their business afloat, he said.

While first payments are due, businesses still struggling have a number of payment options once the initial 12 month interest free period has expired.

These include:
•Extend the term of your loan to 10 years
•Move to interest-only repayments for a period of 6 months (you can use this option up to 3 times)
•Pause your repayments for a period of 6 months (you can use this option once)

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Virgin Wines announce stock market flotation on the back of Covid-19 fuelled home delivery boom

Virgin Wines is planning to list on the AIM stock market on the 2nd March after selling 1 million cases in 2020.
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Virgin Wines is planning to list on the AIM stock market on the 2nd March after selling 1 million cases in 2020.

The business has seen steady growth in its subscription service with 147,000 customers receiving wine regularly out of a total of 169,000 customers. Virgin Wines is currently owned by Direct Wines, the people behind the Sunday Times Wine Club and many mail order wine clubs in the UK and US.

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Treasury Wine Estates announces restructure amid claims it will try and stay meaningful in China

Treasury Wine Estates (TWE), one of Australia's leading wine companies with wineries in Australia and the US, announced its new company structure, while claiming that it hopes to keep a “meaningful presence” in China.
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Treasury Wine Estates (TWE), one of Australia's leading wine companies with wineries in Australia and the US, announced its new company structure, while claiming that it hopes to keep a “meaningful presence” in China as it diverts wines away from China.

The new structure will change from a sales-region-led business model to one that is brand-led, operating under three new portfolio divisions: Penfolds, Treasury Premium Brands and Treasury Americas.

It has already redistributed wine that would have gone to China, resulting in a 36.6% fall in operating profit in China even before punitive tariffs were fully enacted.

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The beginning of the end for Lockdown Britain as Government publishes road map out of Covid crisis

The government will announce on February 22nd its plans for the UK to leave lockdown and for ending all Covid-19 restrictions.
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The beginning of the end for Lockdown Britain.

The government will announce on February 22nd its plans for the UK to leave lockdown, and for ending all Covid-19 restrictions.
Speculation and demands by all industries is rife as the UK Government will, after a year since Covid-19 started, release its plans to ease restrictions. Many industries have long lists of demands, with the hospitality industry no exception. A recent report by the IBN suggested a £35bn give away is required to save 500,000 jobs or the government should spend £70,000 per job.

•Provide hospitality businesses with a COVID-investment rebate – £690m
•Extend hospitality’s reduced VAT rates for remainder of 2021 – £6.3bn
•Include alcohol in hospitality’s reduced VAT rates – £750m
•Cut in half Britain’s alcohol taxes – £1.8bn
•Make hospitality investments 100 per cent First Year Allowance (FYA) – £1.15bn
•Continue the suspension of business rates 2020/2021 – £15bn
•Cut VAT rate payable by physical retailers to 14 per cent – £7.6bn.
•Freeze town centre parking fees – £872m
•Reintroduce ‘eat-out-to-help-out’ and complement it with a ‘pro-hospitality’ advertising push – £1.08bn.

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