Chancellor Rishi Sunak was back on our screens this morning announcing the latest attempts to assist English peoples finances.
In essence he is offering three levels of support, one for businesses, one for employees and one for the self-employed.
- New grant scheme for businesses affected even if not forced to close, this will be dealt with by local councils but £2,100 per month will be provided for every hospitality venue in these Tier Two areas. Also, this can be backdated to August for anyone who has been under these rules already. Tier Three businesses can still get the £3K previously promised.
- Job Support Scheme (the replacement to the Furlough Scheme) update. Employees no longer need to work for 33% to qualify, this is reduced to just 20%. Employers no longer have to pay 22% (on top of the time worked) to get the governments extra money, this amount is reduced to 5% and the government will top up to 67%. Businesses not closed but open and suffering across the various Tiers can apply.
- Self Employed – Doubling the support from 20% to 40%. £3,750 now the limit.
It is worth pointing out, as Greater Manchester Mayor (and unofficial Mayor of Hospitality) Andy Burnham did so eloquently earlier, that the timing of this announcement is yet another slap in the face for those living in the North of the country. Manchester (now moved to Tier Three), for example, have been living through Tier Two conditions for 3 months with no extra support, yet as soon as London moves into the same conditions financial support appears. He was keen to point out he does not begrudge the support that the hospitality industry in London etc will receive, just wanted to point out the timing issue. Although the backdating of the grant scheme will help his mood.
As always the exact details will be coming out in the coming hours and days and we will keep you updated but in short this is a great help for the hospitality industry in Tier Two, at last.
Extra support for staff and at least some money to cover some of the losses in trading. Whether it is too little too late, a band aid for a broken leg or poorly timed will be discussed no doubt but for many people in our industry it will mean a better nights sleep today.