BII pushes Government to simplify grant process

By Emily Hawkins

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags lockdown Bii British institute of innkeeping Legislation Health and safety Government

Members of the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) have reported varying experiences of local authorities paying out grant support, with one-in-seven still waiting for a single payment.

The Government must support local authorities who are “clearly struggling to cope” and help expedite the delivery of vital support to pubs, the BII said.

A recent survey found that fewer than one-in-four pubs have received the full payment of grants they were entitled to during the autumn and winter months of last year.

These findings reflect those of a reader survey carried out by The Morning Advertiser (MA)​.​ 

The MA​ found a quarter of pub operators (24%) who applied for grants during November’s lockdown are still awaiting funds. A number of survey respondents said they were awaiting payments of more than £10,000.

What’s more, the BII found one-in-seven operators have yet to receive a single payment into their banks from grants they are entitled to.

While the country was split into different tiers of coronavirus measures, local authorities struggled to dish out the Local Restrictions Support Grant to businesses who could still open but were severely restricted.

Different experiences

Chief executive of the BII Steve Alton said the survey confirmed licensees had “very different experiences” with claiming support, depending on where they were located.

He added: “We have taken our findings to the heart of Government, to call on them to make the process as simple as possible for all, and to support local authorities who are clearly struggling to cope with the additional demands placed on them.”

What’s more, 80% of survey respondents said they believed cancellation of business rates for 2021/22 was critical for a successful recovery period once pubs are allowed to reopen.

A further 64% believe it is also critical to continue the reduction of VAT at 5% for the rest of the year, whilst almost as many believe this reduction should also apply to alcohol served in their venues.

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