Bar owners: we’ve lost Sh1bn in 3 months due to Covid-19

Kenya’s bar owners have incurred Sh1 billion in losses in the past three months due to coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Bars, Hotels and Liquor Traders Association of Kenya chairman Simon Mwangi, the 54,000 bar business people have adversely been affected by the pandemic, which forced the government to close their businesses in March this year.

Already, the traders have laid off workers as they are unable to pay salaries without thriving business.

Some of the traders now fear that their property will be auctioned as they are unable to pay loans owed to various lending institutions.

He pleaded with the government to consider reopening bars to save businesses from imminent collapse.

Speaking to the press on Wednesday at Mwea in Kirinyaga County after meeting bar owners from Mount Kenya region, Mr Mwangi expressed fears that the traders may be pushed out of business if urgent measures are not taken.

“The situation is of grave concern and we are urging the government to reopen the bars whose owners have been reduced to paupers,” he stated.

“Unless the government listens to our cry, the continuous closure of bars will kill the beer industry which contributes enormously to the growth of the economy.”

The chairman also faulted the government for increasing tax on sorghum used for brewing Keg beer. He noted that the tax would lead to an increase in beer prices, which is affordable by most Kenyans.

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