One in two hospitality firms on the brink as cash runs out

Restaurant in Manchester - PHIL NOBLE /Reuters
Restaurant in Manchester – PHIL NOBLE /Reuters

Mass business collapses could be on the way as almost three-in-10 hospitality businesses warn they have little chance of survival beyond the first quarter of 2021.

Four-in-10 food services and accommodation businesses had temporarily ceased trading in the crucial fortnight before Christmas, the Office for National Statistics found, with Covid rules severely limiting their ability to operate in much of the country.

As a result, more than three-quarters said turnover was down compared with their usual expectations for the period.

Another poor trading period, after nine months of damage inflicted by the pandemic,