The welcome announcement from the Government before Easter of restart funding for the hospitality industry – that included mobile caterers – is taking time filtering through at Local Authority level causing confusion and frustration for cash starved catering businesses.
NCASS members are reporting that the Discretionary Grant application forms have not been updated on the vast majority of local authority websites, making it impossible to apply for them. Some businesses have applied for the restart grants – which are for fixed premises who pay rates – and getting rejected.
Conversations with local authority staff adding to that confusion. As staff in the relevant departments don’t seem to be aware of the updated advice.
Local Authorities have been told that they will not receive the additional £425 million for discretionary grants unless they spend the current pot. Adding a dimension of jeopardy that could prove a concern.
The fact that around £800 million remained unspent a few weeks ago demonstrates that the original advice, missed too many businesses in need of financial support. That the conditions were too rigid to support many of the businesses that have missed out on all other support.
NCASS is asking all customers that believe they should be eligible for the discretionary grants to contact their local authority to ask if and when the information on their websites will be updated and when applications will be accepted again – to contact them by email so you have a record and to include the joint letter from Ministers Scully & Huddleston which you can find here.