A Fife MSP is supporting a new campaign that highlights the many benefits of the region’s pubs and clubs for people and communities.
Mid-Scotland and Fife Labour MSP Alex Rowley says that the impact of Covid-19 and the measures taken will put some of these business at risk.
The campaign highlights that pubs and social clubs are the centre of communities, helping people come together and combatting loneliness and social isolation.
Research from Oxford University found that people who have a local pub are generally happier, have more close friends and feel more connected to their community and that throughout the Covid pandemic, publicans have been supporting the local response in their communities.
Mr Rowley joined up with bar manager Mandy Wishart and staff member Wendi Wilson at the Kings Bar in Kelty to promote the Pubs Matter campaign.
Ms Wishart commented: “The last year has been tough for our staff and customers with the pub being closed over many months.
“It is not just about alcohol and food it’s also about the social contact, the warmth and the friendship that our pub provides.
“We have been staying in touch with our older regulars just to make sure they are ok and have all they need and for many they say they just miss the company and the banter.”
Across the UK the pub and brewing sector supports nearly 900,000 jobs and contributes £23bn to the economy each year.
Mr Rowley said: “Public health comes first and I have supported the measures being put in place but I am also supporting pubs and clubs and making the case for financial support that will help them pay the bills and get through this period.
“The Pubs Matters campaign highlights the many positives of the hospitality sector on local people and local communities.
“These are vibrant businesses employing a lot of people and will be able to bounce back once we get to the other side of Covid.”
The Scottish Government announced £185 million in support for Scottish businesses last week, which included £60m for tourism businesses and £30m in one-off payments to hospitality businesses.
A spokesperson said details on eligibility and application processes will be announced in the coming weeks.