As with all the challenges that have come as a result of restriction changes during the pandemic, the newest lockdown provides a new set of hurdles. If you were in an area with additional restrictions before the latest lockdowns across the UK, then pivoting your business to delivery or collection will be nothing new for you however there are some elements that differ to previous lock downs.
The new rules for hospitality:
‘Hospitality venues are required to close, including cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs.
This is with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery.’
Hospitality must close (except for takeaway and delivery) and for Licenced premises. Takeaway and delivery is allowed only between 6am and 10pm.
For those in mainland Scotland at level 4, All pubs, restaurants and cafes must remain closed in, although they can still serve takeaways and offer delivery.
In level three, premises are allowed to open – but no alcohol can be sold, and they must close at 18:00.
Customers have to provide their contact details in case contact tracers need to reach them and must wear face coverings while moving around and when not eating or drinking.
It is mandatory for staff to wear face coverings, and there can only be table service.
In Northern Ireland:
Hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs must remain closed, with the exception of providing food and drink for takeaway, drive-through or delivery.
Businesses providing takeaway services must close at 11.00 pm and off-sales must stop at 8.00 pm. Outdoor areas are not permitted to be used.
The provision of food and drink in motorway services, airports and harbour terminals is allowed.
This week the Chancellor announced one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses to help businesses through to the Spring.
If you do not have a premises, there will be discretionary grants available.
If you do have a premises, there will be grants available to you dependent on its rateable value.
What to bear in mind:
1. Many local authority (council) websites have not been updated yet, Birmingham City Council, for example has stated on their website that local authorities will have received information from government on the new lock down grants by 15/1/21.
2. If you have already received a grant then your council may have a system by which they will contact you, however, every local authority is different, and this may not be the case.
3. If you have not applied for an LRG or ARG grant already then you should do so (LRG grants are for businesses that have rateable properties, ARG grants are for those that do not)
4. Some caterers have had success, others inexplicably haven’t (even in the same local authorities), local authorities have different forms / requirements, so please familiarise yourself with what your council are asking for and require. Be vigilant and keep checking your local authority website for updates.
5. Grants are differing per LA in terms of speed of delivery and amount so please keep checking your local authority website for updates.
6. Please let us know if you have put a grant application and have been successful or not so that we can continue to feedback to Government on support for our sector.
- One-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property.
- The new one-off grants come in addition to billions of existing business support, including grants worth up to £3,000 for closed businesses, and up to £2,100 per month for impacted businesses once they reopen.
- The government has also provided 100% business rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, £1.1 billion existing discretionary funding for Local Authorities, the furlough scheme now extended to April and 100% government backed loans, extended until March.
- A discretionary grant scheme will be available for businesses without premises, please check your local authority website for more information. This grant funding may not be called the ARG grant this time round so please look for this and the words discretionary grants.
A further £594 million is also being made available for Local Authorities and the Devolved Administrations to support other businesses not eligible for the grants, that might be affected by the restrictions. Businesses should apply to their Local Authorities.
- The Scottish Government will receive £375 million, excluding discretionary grants for businesses without a rateable premise.
- You can read more about grant funding in Scotland here https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-strategic-framework-business-fund/pages/what-you-can-get/
- Here is an example of what to expect when you apply for the Strategic Framework Business Fund https://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/services/coronavirus-covid-19/covid-19-strategic-framework-business-fund
- The Welsh Government will receive £227 million of additional funding
- The ERF Sector Specific Support (operating cost) package is targeted at Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure (HTL) businesses and associated supply chain businesses that will be materially impacted by a greater than 60% impact of turnover as a result of the restrictions introduced on 4 December 2020 until the 22 January 2021
- You can find out if you are eligible here: https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice/?_ga=2.51767082.268893881.1610117726-613885850.1600876084
- Here is an example from one local authority in Wales: https://www.cardiff.gov.uk/ENG/Business/Support-and-Finance-for-Business/COVID-support%20for-business/restrictions-business-fund/Pages/default.aspx
In Northern Ireland:
- The Northern Ireland Executive will receive £127 million of additional funding
- The Localised Restrictions Support Scheme provides financial support to certain businesses which have been required to close or severely limit operations at their premises under the Health Protection Regulations that have been put in place by the NI Executive, subject to some exclusions.
- You can find out if you qualify here https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/coronavirus-localised-restrictions-support-scheme
- You can apply here https://www.nibusinesscovidfinancialsupport.finance-ni.gov.uk/
We will, as ever, update you with more information as this is made available – if you have any questions please get in touch with us at [email protected]