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Diageo launches $100m on-trade recovery fund

Published:  24 June, 2020

Diageo has unveiled a new global programme to support pubs and bars to welcome customers back and recover following the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The two-year ‘Raising the Bar’ programme, available from July 2020, will include Diageo providing $100m to support the recovery of major hospitality centres, including: London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Belfast, New York and Mexico City. 

The programme, which includes the $20m Community Fund announced in the US on 12 June, will provide targeted support to help pay for the physical equipment needed for outlets to re-open, said the business. 

In the UK, Diageo will provide initial funding for ‘hygiene kits’ with high-quality permanent sanitiser dispense units, medical grade hand sanitiser and a range of personal protection equipment (such as masks and gloves). 

In addition, it will help pubs and bars to establish partnerships with online reservations and cashless systems, plus mobile bars and outdoor equipment.

Calling on governments around the world to provide long-term recovery packages to help the hospitality sector, Ivan Menezes, CEO of Diageo, said: “These businesses play an essential role in bringing people together to socialise and celebrate – something that we have all missed so much during this terrible crisis – and sustain hundreds of millions of jobs, which provide a first foot on the employment ladder for young people.  

“Pubs and bars sit at the heart of every community. We have launched 'Raising the Bar' as so many outlets have been impacted by this crisis and badly need help to open their doors again.”  

Bar owners will be able to register their interest for the programme from 24 June 2020 via globally and in the UK and Ireland.

The UN’s International Labour Organization has forecast that 436 million enterprises worldwide face serious disruption and one in six young people will be unemployed due to Covid-19. 

The hospitality sector will be one of the hardest hit, as pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants provide hundreds of millions of jobs for many full and part-time workers.