On 21st December, the UK Government announced one-off grants for hospitality businesses, up to a maximum of £6,000 per premises. Following this announcement, cash was distributed to local authorities in England on 7th January.
Despite access to the grants, some councils have yet to allocate the funds to businesses in their jurisdiction.
A spokesperson for East Riding of Yorkshire Council said:
“The council understands the importance of paying businesses promptly to support them during this difficult period and is working through government guidance. We anticipate the application process for the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant scheme to be open before 18 January 2022. We ask businesses to check our web pages for updates.
“The government require councils to gather evidence to support applications and carry out pre-payment checks. It is expected that it may take up to three weeks to award a grant.”
Northumberland County Council was due to open its application process on Monday 17th January, with funding to be distributed “as soon as possible”.
Birmingham City Council said it held a meeting on Tuesday 18th January to decide on how the funds would be allocated, with payments expected to reach recipients soon.
What’s clear is that hospitality businesses need access to these funds sooner rather than later, with many businesses facing higher fuel bills as a result of increased energy costs, an unwelcome development in the light of reduced bookings and profits.
The BEIS scheme guidance requires all payments to have been issued by 31 March 2022 and no further decisions on applications can be made after 28 February 2022.