To ensure businesses, towns and cities across England have the ability to survive and recover from Tier restrictions and lockdowns to stave off mass closures and further unemployment.
A third lockdown will cause severe pressure, and irrevocable damage, on businesses many of whom have been under the toughest tier restrictions for several months. We are relieved that the Government has listened to calls for greater financial support and action from the Chancellor has followed swiftly.
However, 100,000 businesses would like the Chancellor to provide assurances that the funding requirements will be reviewed in the event the national lockdown in England is extended beyond mid-February, and that other measures outlined in our campaign manifesto are tabled for consideration including an extension of the business rates holiday and pause on National Insurance contributions by employers for furloughed employees.
We agree that sector specific measures require sector specific support, and this manifesto outlines a range of support packages which will provide a vital lifeline for hospitality, retail and leisure businesses alike.
This manifesto follows intense and thorough talks with businesses, Business Improvement Districts [BIDs], Local Authorities, destinations and industry bodies to provide options of support to help the UK economy ‘Bounce Back Better’.
ask #1 one-off grant for retail, hospitality & leisure businesses
Local Authorities lack the administrative and payments infrastructure required to facilitate a monthly financial support model proposed by government for eligible businesses in Tier 2 and Tier 3 – many businesses are receiving funds too late, or worse not at all.
We ask Government to provide a one-off ‘Bounce Back’ grant of up to £15,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in Tier 2 and Tier 3 across England and Wales with a rateable value of up to and including £150,000. This would give 137,000 businesses vital funds delivered in a manner Local Authorities are equipped to distribute at a total maximum cost of £2.05bn
ask #2 pause national insurance contributions for furloughed employees
For the furlough scheme investment to date of £47m to be fully effective, business support must reflect short and long term challenges. While employees receive 80% of their salary through the extension of the furlough scheme, businesses are still paying out for National Insurance, placing greater strain on survival.
We ask Government to remove the burden of National Insurance from employers whose staff are on furlough, saving the average business £2,000 per month until the end of March 2021.
ask #3 extension of 100% business rates holiday for 2021/22
The ‘payment holiday’ for hospitality, leisure and leisure businesses with a rateable value less than £51,000 earlier this year was an extraordinary and critical measure saving each business up to £25,000, a total tax cut worth over £1bn.
We ask Government to extend the 100% business rates holiday into 2021/2022 for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. Every pound saved is a pound to help businesses stay trading and retain staff.
ask #4 extension of VAT reduction scheme
The cut in VAT from 20% to 5% is a major boost for the hospitality sector enabling businesses to pass on a £4.1 billion saving onto consumers. With a vaccine becoming a reality in the coming months, our Bed and Breakfasts, hotels and restaurants could be a vital catalyst to local economic recovery.
Research by CGA for UKHospitality, the British Beer and Pub Association and the British Institute of Innkeeping found support on VAT and business rates are top of hospitality’s essential business support needs.
We ask government to extend the VAT reduction to 5% for Hospitality from 1 April 2021 up to and including 31st March 2022.
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