Hospitality, retail and leisure firms are facing huge levels of debt as the economy reopens, industry bodies have told the government.
Kate Nicholls, the boss of Hospitality UK, warned of “long Covid for the economy, if you’re not very careful”.
Speaking to the Treasury Select Committee, other trade bodies said government support had not been adequate during the pandemic.
Ms Nicholls told MPs that the industry had amassed £2.5bn of rent debt.
She added that the hospitality sector was coming out of lockdown with another £6bn worth of government debt accrued through schemes such as the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
“While government measures have been really helpful in terms of setting out a framework for easing the burden of government backed debt, we’re not seeing that translated through on the ground by banks” she said.
Ms Nicholls told the committee: “We’ve got £2.5bn of historic rent debt, which currently falls due in one hit on 1 July when the moratorium ends, so we urgently need those moratoriums extended.