• Nearly £2bn is currently unclaimed from local authorities across England and Wales from the total grant fund of £12.35bn allocated by central Government
• UKHospitality, British Beer and Pub Association and #RaiseTheBar campaign are calling on central Government to redirect the underspend to support all 54,638 businesses with a rateable value of £51,000.00 to £150,000.00
• 54,638 businesses across England and Wales are still unable to access the £25,000 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG)
• Thousands of businesses have been closed for 104 days with no guarantee of re-opening on 4 July due to mounting cash flow pressures
#RaiseTheBar, a national campaign led by Croydon Business Improvement District is calling on the Government to repurpose the surplus and allow 54,638 businesses from pubs to shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, hotels, galleries and gyms to access the £25,000 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure (RHLG) grant, a grant they are currently excluded from applying for due to their business rates valuation falling between £51,000 - £150,000.
Many of these businesses do not qualify for other Government grants, with the RHLG grant their only opportunity for financial support. Access to the RHLG will enable businesses to mitigate significant stock losses and cashflow challenges, at a time when they are having to invest significant funds into social distancing measures in planning to reopen responsibly and safely from 4 July and bring staff off furlough.
Current challenges for the Hospitality Sector:
• The British Beer and Pub Association has revealed that pubs face a 30% reduction in capacities under the new one metre+ guidance released by the Government and will therefore find it tougher to remain viable in the intervening months without the necessary financial support
• To survive, UKHospitality found in a recent survey of members that 57% of respondents had applied for some form of loan, increasing the debt burden upon the business
• Survey results released by UKHospitality estimate businesses will see 22% of last year’s trade in July, 28% in August and 32% in September under a one metre+ social distancing policy
Matthew Sims, Chief Executive of Croydon BID said, “Businesses face increasingly challenging times as our economy struggles to cope with the impact of Covid-19. As businesses grapple with falling consumer confidence, restrictions on capacities and ongoing financial overheads, the need for the Government to act and provide financial support to these sectors is now. As grant funding remains unallocated, we are calling on Government to repurpose the surplus and allow those small businesses over £51k in rateable value the chance to survive.”
Amy Lame, Night Czar, Greater London Authority said, “COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on the capital’s hospitality sector and night time economy, with their doors remaining closed for the last three months. The opening of some venues from July 4 is good news, but many are hugely concerned about the viability of their business with reduced capacities, and many more have no opening date in sight. These businesses make a huge contribution to life in our city and will be a significant part of our economy recovery, but without urgent Government support we risk losing them.”