UKHospitality (UKH) has praised the government’s new grants package, part of the upcoming budget, which will provide upwards of £18,000 for hospitality premises to help the sector recover following lockdown.
The grant for pubs, restaurants, hotels and leisure businesses will form part of a £5bn rescue package to be included in chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget speech on Wednesday (3 March).
As well as the support grants, the government is set to add another £425m to the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) fund to help businesses which will not be able to access the new grants package.
Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality said: “This announcement is great news for hospitality businesses that have been struggling to see how they could survive through to the Prime Minister’s reopening dates.
“Cash reserves have been severely depleted after a year of closure and restrictions and these grants are a very welcome boost, putting the sector in a better place to restart.”
She added: “It is absolutely critical that the grant funding is put into the hands of hospitality business owners as quickly as possible. Businesses are crying out for the cash now so there can be no further delays which might make it too late for some.
“The government must also clarify once and for all that these grants are not subject to EU State Aid rules and that grants can flow to all businesses that so desperately need them.”
Speaking to Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday, the chancellor said: “We know that particularly businesses in hospitality, leisure, accommodation and retail have been affected by the restrictions…We want to support them as they reopen, we want to support them to keep staff, to pay bills and that’s why we’re launching the Restart Grants which we paid in April, worth £5bn in total.”