Government grants must be accelerated and extended, trade bodies say

Government grants are not being delivered quickly enough to businesses that have seen their revenue decimated by Covid-19.

Trade bodies representing the hospitality industry have said there is danger more jobs will be lost if grants are not received quickly and extended to those businesses with a rateable value above £51,000, who currently are being asked to use loans to shore up their businesses.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “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.

“The £51,000 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.”

UKHospitality along with the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) and the Campaign for Real Ale have written to chancellor Rishi Sunak warning that some local authorities are distributing grants far too slowly to benefit under-pressure businesses.

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA, added: “Ten thousand pubs are still without any grant support because they are above the rateable value threshold. Unless that is abolished immediately, many of those pubs will cease to exist in a matter of weeks, putting some 150,000 jobs at risk.

“Not only are these pubs viable businesses, they are the social hub that bind us together. The government has got to get its support right and delivered so when this crisis is over pubs can re-open and serve their communities once more.”