A £40m emergency fund is being set up to help save hospitality businesses in the Liverpool City Region from collapse as tighter local lockdown restrictions come into force.
Since 3 October it has been illegal in the area to meet people from other households indoors, including in pubs, restaurants and bars.
A joint statement from Liverpool's Metro Mayor and the leaders of the city region's six local authorities said the money was "vital" in lieu of further government support.
New restrictions on socialising, which follow a rise in coronavirus cases in the region, are set to deal a "hammer blow" to businesses, the group said.
Over 50,000 people work in the local hospitality and leisure industry, and more than 200 businesses have already closed due to the impact of coronavirus.
The leaders said: "We have made it clear to the government that with new restrictions must come a comprehensive package of financial support for our economy and that this is particularly urgent for businesses in [the hospitality] sector, many of which have already reached breaking point.
"But we know that this is not enough and that words will not help you pay your staff, your rent or your suppliers.
"[We] know that once a business is gone it is gone and that if we do not act now to protect our economy from these new restrictions, we risk having nothing to build back from."
The group hopes to use the interim financial package to support as many hospitality and leisure businesses as possible.
The fund is expected to launch later this week and will be coordinated through local authorities, similar to previous grants earlier this year.