York & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the formation of a new Hospitality Forum to represent, champion and support the sector.
The Hospitality Forum has a core purpose of giving the industry a voice and make sure it is recognised regionally, nationally and internationally.
Hospitality accounts for some 50,000 roles across North Yorkshire and is a cornerstone of the region’s economy whose impact runs far and wide in terms of its supply chain benefits, employment impact and supporting services. The region also remains one of the UK’s leading tourism hotspots with millions of visitors pouring in every year from all over the world. The overwhelming majority of the firms operating in this sector are SMEs and micro-businesses with only a handful of employees.
However, the pandemic and its aftermath have taken a heady toll on the commercial strength of the sector. The cumulative impact of rising costs, recruitment and retention issues, access to finance, the drive towards net zero, inconsistent demand and how it is perceived as a career option have left many enterprises facing an uncertain future.
The York & North Yorkshire Hospitality Forum aims to emulate the success of the West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce property forums by placing the key issues of the sector in front of those in a position to make a difference.
It will endeavour to ensure that the hospitality sector is on the agendas of both central government and the region’s councils, work to encourage funding for the firms operating in the industry and to both find and share best practice within the sector. In addition, it will work alongside the Chamber’s Local Skills Improvement Plan to address any shortfalls in skills that the sector may be dealing with, as well as to encourage positive media activity.
Philip Bolson, owner of consultancy firm Mr B Hospitality and chair of the Hospitality Forum, said: “Never before has hospitality been under so much pressure.
“Whilst many hospitality businesses across the region are working hard on what is in their control, they do need more support and direct action from both local authorities and national government.
“Short term action that will alleviate pressures in areas such as cashflow, recruitment, growth, and ultimately their ability to hold on to their business.
“From national government examples needing urgent action include a resolution to the current energy crisis (the cap is simply not enough) and a reduction in VAT. The energy crisis alone is going to cause the closure of many businesses. Locally we need to ensure that authorities understand the importance of the sector, to look beyond productivity, and see that it really is the beating heart of the region.”
Laurence Beardmore, president of York & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The hospitality sector and associated support industries are a vital element of the York & North Yorkshire economy, and in our region we are experts in this field. Hospitality workers are some of the hardest working and most conscientious people around but they have been disproportionately affected by the economic, pandemic, fuel increase and National strike issues we are still experiencing.
“York & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce is determined to do everything it can to support those industries to survive and subsequently recover and the newly formed Hospitality forum will be central to our strategy.”
For further information please contact York & North Yorkshire Business Engagement Manager Alice Ingram on email@example.com and Head of Policy and Representation Mark Casci on firstname.lastname@example.org.