Hospitality businesses to receive grants worth up to £9,000

05 January 2021 by
Hospitality businesses to receive grants worth up to £9,000

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced that businesses in the hospitality sector are to receive a one-off grant worth up to £9,000 to help them through to the spring.

This follows the prime minister's announcement last night that these businesses will be closed until at least February half-term to help control the virus.

The cash will be provided on a per-property basis to closed businesses, with £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or less, £6,000 for those with a rateable value between £15-51,000, and £9,000 for those over £51,000.

The new one-off grants come in addition to the grants worth up to £3,000 for closed businesses, and up to £2,100 per month for impacted businesses once they reopen.

Sunak said: "The new strain of the virus presents us all with a huge challenge, and while the vaccine is being rolled out, we have needed to tighten restrictions further.

"Throughout the pandemic we've taken swift action to protect lives and livelihoods and today we're announcing a further cash injection to support businesses and jobs until the spring.

"This will help businesses to get through the months ahead – and crucially it will help sustain jobs, so workers can be ready to return when they are able to reopen."

UKHospitality chief executive, Kate Nicholls, said it was a "very positive step" but it was "only a sticking plaster" and would not be enough to cover the costs of many businesses or underpin longer-term business viability for the sector.

She said: "To address the inevitable and existential challenges that hospitality faces, we need confirmation of extensions to the business rates holiday and of the 5% VAT rate.

"On its own, today's support is not enough. Businesses need a longer-term economic plan and it would befit the crisis that we face if the chancellor brought forward his budget to make the announcements necessary to reassure businesses and allow them to plan their survival. Commercial certainty cannot come soon enough and only the chancellor can deliver it."

Jane Pendlebury, chief executive of the Hospitality Professionals Association (HOSPA) echoed Nicholls' calls for the budget to be brought forward. She said that "any foresight we can glean could prove the difference between planning to reopen and simply giving up and closing for good".

She described it as a a short-term resolution and said operators would "benefit significantly from a more far-reaching vision that sets out long-term measures".

Pendlebury added: "We know it's hugely costly having to bail out hospitality businesses, but the alternative – a derelict and effectively dismantled industry is far worse. As a sector, we're one of the largest employers in the UK, and leaving us to flounder and fail simply doesn't bear thinking about."

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