Thousands of hospitality venues to miss out on grants without changes to State Aid restrictions

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Thousands of hospitality venues to miss out on Coronavirus lockdown grants without changes to State Aid restrictions

Related tags Coronavirus lockdown grants

Sector trade bodies have warned 20,000 hospitality businesses will miss out on lockdown grants, putting over one million jobs at risk, unless Government takes advantage of State Aid reforms.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) and UKHospitality (UKH) have written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak urging him to loosen State Aid cap preventing larger groups claiming support.

According to the trade associations, if the Chancellor doesn’t apply the changes to State Aid restrictions, 20,000 hospitality venues and pubs across the UK will not receive the support he has allocated to them.

The call comes following a change in EU State Aid rules on 13 October meaning severely impacted businesses such as those in hospitality can claim up to €3,000,000 (£2,700,000) in State Aid, up from €800,000 (£720,000).

Businesses hit by the UK cap, the trade associations say, employ around half of the hospitality workforce, which equates to more than one million people.

In a joint statement, the trade bodies said: “The Government is hiding behind these EU rules which it has the ability to change.

"This cannot be the Chancellor’s intention, so he must now take advantage of the changes to State Aid rules to immediately unlock the grants our sector desperately needs.

“If action is not taken by the Government or the Chancellor, thousands of businesses and over one million jobs will be at risk throughout the winter and might not survive to the spring and the economic recovery.”

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