One-Off £6,000 grant now available for restaurants and bars
Businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors in England will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises.
This comes after on Monday, a further 91,743 COVID cases were reported across the UK – the second highest daily total on record.
“With the surge in Omicron cases, people are rightly exercising more caution as they go about their lives, which is impacting our hospitality, leisure and cultural sectors at what is typically the busiest time of the year. That’s why we’re taking immediate action to help with an extra £1 billion in grants to these industries and reintroducing our Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme.”
“We recognise that the spread of the Omicron variant means businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors are facing huge uncertainty, at a crucial time. So we’re stepping in with £1 billion of support, including a new grant scheme, and further funding released through the Culture Recovery Fund.”
Who is eligible for the £6,000 hospitality grant?
Around 200,000 businesses will be eligible for business grants which will be administered by local authorities, including;
- live music venues
- other venues deemed to be within the hospitality sector by their local authorities
For those concerned as to when the grants will be made available; the government has (however vaguely) stated that the grants will be available in the coming weeks.
Welcome News or Not Enough?
The news comes after week and month of industry leaders, such as the NTIA and NDML, calling on the government for more support for the hospitality and nightlife sector. Hospitality UK reporting that many businesses have lost 40-60% of their December trade, often their most profitable month.
And after their avid stance on no support for the sector, the government appears to now have relented, once again changing their minds.
Public commentators of the announcement have already dubbed it a token gesture – “a headline grabber” – to finish off a despondent and disappointing year. Another pointed out that many clubs are losing £6,000 every few days. Another notes how the £6,000 won’t be able to cover excess stock purchased which could be wasted if the government call for an immediate lockdown, as has been predicted.
The NTIA’s Response to the Chancellor’s announcement was critical of the mixed messaging, similarly stating too little too late.
“Businesses are failing, people are losing their livelihoods and the industry is crippled.”
“Mixed messaging, coupled with additional restrictions, have had a catastrophic impact on our sector over the last two weeks.”
“At this critical point, we need strong leadership and a clear pathway from the Government with a long term strategy for new COVID variants. The open/close strategy is crucifying businesses.”
“Every pound of help is much needed. But this package is far too little and borders on the insulting.”
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