95% of operators still not received 'inadequate and misjudged' Omicron grants

By Rebecca Weller contact

- Last updated on GMT

One in 20 operators have received the Omicron grant so far: 95% still not in receipt of 'woefully inadequate and misjudged' grants (Credit: Getty/ Zedelle)
One in 20 operators have received the Omicron grant so far: 95% still not in receipt of 'woefully inadequate and misjudged' grants (Credit: Getty/ Zedelle)

Related tags: Finance, Coronavirus, grants

Just one in 20 operators have received the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure grants so far, a snap poll by the Morning Advertiser has revealed.

Of the 143 operators surveyed, 95% (136) said they had not yet received their grant, while 5% (7) had received the grant.

The Unruly Pig in Woodbridge, Suffolk, which was recently named number one in the top 50 Gastropubs, applied for the grant from East Suffolk council earlier this month, but was told the claim could take up to three weeks to be processed.

woefully inadequate

Licensee Brendan Padfield said: “I am entitled to the maximum of £6,000 but that will barely touch the sides in terms of the losses I have sustained over December and Christmas.

“I don’t want to sound ungrateful, of course every little helps but given the loss of income caused by government mixed messaging and indecision, it is woefully inadequate and misjudged. It is better than a kick in the teeth of course, but not much better.”

The grants were put in place in order to help hospitality and leisure businesses recoup some loss following the devastation Omicron caused, however the amount a venue is entitled to varies.

Businesses with a value of exactly £15,000 or under on 30 December 2021 are entitled to £2,667, while those with a value of £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive £4,000, and businesses with a value of exactly £51,000 or over are entitled a payment of £6,000.

Licensee of the Keel Row pub in Whitely Bay, Northumberland, Sharon Herron, said the reduction in VAT being kept in place would have been more helpful than the one-off grant payment.

Killer rates 

The Keel row is entitled to £4,000 from the grant, but Herron has saved more than this due to paying two thirds less VAT per month since the introduction of VAT reduction.

Heron said: “The best thing they could have done was kept VAT lower and kept the rates lower, because my rates are a killer; paying £700 a month instead of £2,100 has been amazing.

“They could have kept the £4,000 and just let us have a few more months at the lower rate, it's not going to happen, but it would have been nice.”

Related topics: Legislation

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