This was also the case with previous funding when many operators were left waiting in the dark, with little communication from councils for the payments.
The Government has set out criteria on which businesses are eligible for grants, which is businesses must be solvent and ratepayers in the hospitality and leisure sector, which includes pubs, hotels, restaurants, bars, cinemas and amusement parks.
Based on rateable value
Grants are per premises and based on rateable value of each venue. This has been worked out in three bands, which are:
- For pubs with a rateable value of £0 to £15,000, they are eligible for a grant of £2,700.
- Pubs with a rateable value of £15,000 to £51,000, they can claim a £4,000 grant.
- Those with a rateable value of more than £51,000, the full grant amount of £6,000 is available.
Local authorities will also receive a “top up” to the Additional Restrictions Grant to use at their discretion, worth £102m.
The Government stated the top up will be prioritised for the local authorities that have distributed their existing allocation and while it is to be used at the discretion of the local authority, it is intended to support businesses impacted by Covid-18 but may not be eligible for the hospitality and leisure grant.
Final application and payment dates for the grants and the Additional Restrictions Grant will be confirmed in guidance published by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
The announcement of the grants, which the Chancellor revealed yesterday (Tuesday 21 December) was met with mixed views from trade bodies.
UKHospitality called it a “generous package” while the Night-Time Industries Association said it was “far too little and borders on the insulting”.
Operators also reacted to the announcement, with one likening it to “sticking an Elasoplast over a gaping wound”, while another called the grant “a twinkle of sunshine in a very bleak outlook”.