Trade bodies urge Government to expand and accelerate distribution of grant scheme funds

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Hospitality trade bodies urge Government to expand and accelerate distribution of Coronavirus grant scheme funds

Related tags Coronavirus ukhospitality British beer & pub association British institute of innkeeping Campaign for real ale Government

Four of the industry’s leading trade bodies have joined together to ask the Government to expand and accelerate the distribution of funds from its Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme.

The British Beer and Pub Association, British Institute of Innkeeping, Campaign for Real Ale, and UKHospitality have written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, warning that some local authorities are distributing grants far too slowly to benefit under-pressure businesses.

The letter also warns that too many businesses facing critical cashflow issues fall outside of the threshold for grants. 

Under the current grant scheme, which was announced last month as part of the Government’s £350bn financial package to help businesses navigate the Coronavirus crisis, only the smallest business within the sector are eligible. 

Businesses with a property that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000; while those with a property that has a rateable value of between £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

The trade bodies have called on The Treasury to abolish the £51,000 maximum rateable value threshold, and push councils to deliver the cash urgently.

“The package of support that the Government has announced is very generous. Unfortunately, the delivery of that support has been far too slow, and businesses cannot wait any longer,” says UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls.

“The 51k threshold must also be scrapped as too many businesses fall outside of the limit. These businesses may be in more expensive buildings, but they are being hit just as hard as others. There is also the danger that jobs will be lost in much larger numbers if these bigger employers fail. That is why they need support, too.”

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