Prime Minister Boris Johnson has today (Tuesday 1 December) announced an additional £1,000 Christmas grant for ‘wet-led pubs’ in tiers 2 and 3 who will miss out on much needed business during the busy Christmas period.
Pubs that predominantly serve alcohol rather than provide food have been asked to make huge sacrifices over the festive season and will be eligible for a one-off £1000 to help make ends meet.
The payment will be a one-off for December and will be paid on top on the existing £3,000 monthly cash grants for businesses. This will cover those in tiers 2 and 3 forced to reduce their operations as a result of the latest regional measures put in place to contain transmission of the virus.
The move bolsters the government’s support for the pubs sector, following the extension of the furlough scheme and the business rates holiday which were extended until March 2021.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
Pubs are at the heart of communities across the country and they have been among the businesses which have suffered the most during the pandemic.
While we can’t make up for all the trade they will lose over Christmas, I hope this new £1000 grant – on top of the furlough, VAT and business rates relief and existing grants, goes some way to help them weather the economic storm.
As the government prepares to introduce community testing across tier 3 areas and work on vaccines continues to progress, it is vital that we continue to bear down on the virus transmission rate to protect lives and livelihoods and ensure the NHS is not overwhelmed during the winter.
Wet-led pubs in tiers 2 and 3 will be subject to significant measures under the new regional tiered system and it is right for the government to increase its support. Eligible wet-led pubs across these tiers are invited to apply through their local authority who will be responsible for distributing the grants. The payment will be made once per business for the month of December only.
The additional support comes on top of £1.1 billion which is being given to local authorities, distributed on the basis of £20 per head, for one-off payments to enable them to support businesses more broadly. The government has also provided £10 billion business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses lasting until March, as well as £11.7 billion of initial grants of up to £25,000 at the start of the outbreak.