The British Hospitality Association (BHA) has called on the Government to allocate extra funding to the Cumbrian hospitality industry in the wake of the devastating floods last weekend.
Martin Couchman, deputy chief executive of the BHA, said that the flooding could not have come at a worse time for businesses ahead of the Christmas and New Year rush, and argued that the Government needed to allocate funding to help the industry recover.
He also called for a delay to tax payments deadlines, VAT, and business rates for businesses affected.
The calls come the same day as the Prince's Countryside Fund announced that it had released £40,000 from its emergency fund in support of rural communities and businesses affected, and was working with the Prince's Business Emergency Resilience Group (BERG), an initiative of Business in the Community, and the Cumbria Community Foundation, to support the communities concerned.
Couchman said: "We are thinking about all hospitality and tourism businesses across the North of England and Scotland who have been affected by Storm Desmond. Hospitality is an industry where people pull out all the stops to provide a great guest experience no matter what, like one of our BHA members in the Lake District who was affected by the floods but still managed to serve 90 covers the very next day.
"We echo calls from our Cumbrian members to ask the Government to allocate funding to enable our industry in Cumbria to get back on its feet as quickly as possible."
Mike Still, chairman of BERG, added: "Flooding causes huge devastation to property, land and the morale of communities, and once flood waters recede and media attention wanes, people still need help to recover. We want to help hard hit rural communities get back on their feet and open for business."
The Prince's BERG was formed after the 2009 flooding in Cockermouth, to help small to medium business owners recognise and plan for significant risks, and to help them recover faster following an emergency.