Phil Thorley, operations director of Thorley Taverns, which runs 19 pubs in Thanet and Sandwich, said he anticipated Kent remaining in the top tier following this week's review and had told his 330 furloughed staff he didn't expect them to be working again until January at the earliest.
Phil Thorley, director, Thorley Taverns
Under Tier 3, all pubs, restaurants and hotels are forced to close.
But he warned it could be even longer, after the government confirmed a relaxing of restrictions over the Christmas period would still go ahead - despite major concerns it could see infection rates soar.
With Kent currently among the worst hit areas in the country - and where a mutation of the virus, which could accelerate the spread of the illness was first detected - the businessman fears the county could remain under the toughest tier of restrictions for weeks to come.
He explained: "At best, I don't imagine us going back to work until early in the new year. But with the five-day relaxing of rules over Christmas, Kent may not be out of Tier 3 until the end of January or early February."
And the price the sector is paying for closure over the festive season is high.
He added: "We can see up to 25-30% of our yearly profit generated during December. It's the time of year our customers and staff enjoy the most.
"So it will have a devastating impact on the industry and a very detrimental impact on our company."
Thorley Taverns has not had to make a single staff member redundant as a result of the closures, but he repeated calls from others in the hospitality sector calling on more government support, saying the sector had been "hung out to dry".
"Being in Tier 3 is catastrophic for our business," he added. "We don't know when we'll reopen - just how long will this go on?"