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KBL Launches Sh330mn Fund to Help Bars and Eateries Bounce Back from COVID-19 Impact

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 18 – The Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL), has announced the local launch of a global programme by Diageo, aimed at supporting the revival of bars and eateries across the country, recover from the impact occasioned by Covid-19 pandemic.

Through KBL’s flagship brand, Tusker, the company will provide Kshs 330 million worth of targeted support to help provide physical equipment and digital capability needed by outlets, boosting the recovery of the hospitality sub-sector in Kenya. The programme, dubbed Raising the Bar, is part of Diageo’s Kshs 11 billion ($100 million) global fund to support bars and pubs bounce back from closure during this period.

Raising the Bar programme was designed following a survey of bar owners to identify key priorities to support reopening. Their top priorities included practical equipment to transform their service areas for adequate social distancing, hygiene measures and digital support.

KBL Acting Sales Director, Joel Kamau, said: “As KBL, we know this has been the most difficult time for the hospitality industry ever. Our bars and eateries universe constitutes a critical part of our hospitality industry which has been greatly affected. We have committed to alleviate the safety and comfort of our customers and boost the trade at this critical time.

We have no doubt that Raising the Bar programme will provide the much-needed shot in the arm for these outlets at a time when they most need our help. With the sector’s 40,0000 retailers employing over 300,000 people and benefitting many more directly, the effects of the pandemic have been felt throughout the country.”

Raising the Bar programme, seeks to support over 11,000 outlets to ensure that they first meet the basic Covid-19 safety regulations, as outlined in the recently-issued guidelines by the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development.

KBL says that full recovery of this sector will also boost its expansive value chain supporting over 47,000 farmers, over 100 distribution network consists of 105 distributors and 44,000 retailers, all of whom have been affected by the pandemic.

The targeted support will include hygiene kits with high-quality permanent sanitiser dispenser units, medical grade hand sanitiser and a range of personal protection equipment (PPEs such as masks and gloves). The fund will also help pubs and bars obtain mobile bars and outdoor equipment as well as establish partnerships with online reservations and cashless systems.

Through the programme, KBL has partnered with AMREF to train bar staff on the safety measures they need to take to protect themselves and their customers, upon resumption.

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The announcement follows a series of efforts by KBL since March 2020, to help address emergency needs brought about by the pandemic. Apart from funding the production of 1 million pieces of hand-sanitiser at Kshs 70 million for use by frontline health workers and vulnerable communities, KBL also donated Kshs 50 million to the Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund. The ‘Raising the Bar’ initiative will bring the total investment by the company to Kshs 540 million; to help support trade and communities across Kenya.

KBL is a part of East African Breweries Limited (EABL), the region’s largest alcohol beverage manufacturer. Apart from the Kshs 330 million allocated to Kenya, a further Kshs 220 million worth of support will also go towards supporting trade in Uganda and Tanzania, through EABL’s other subsidiaries in these markets.

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