Thank you for contacting me about support for hospitality businesses.
Thank you also for pointing out the Westminster Hall debate that took place on Monday 11 January 2021. Only those on the Parliamentary estate were able to participate. I did put myself forward but I was unsuccessful so couldn’t take part. I am pleased that the Minister recognised the importance of the hospitality sector as hospitality businesses are often at the heart of communities, providing jobs and places to enjoy companionship and supporting mental health and wellbeing, social cohesion and cultural integration.
I know that many hospitality businesses in Mid Derbyshire are experiencing serious challenges as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The new variant and announcement of new restrictions across England will no doubt have come as a blow to many hospitality businesses, including pubs, restaurants and cafes operating in Mid Derbyshire.
Under these new restrictions, all hospitality venues are required to close in England, including cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs, with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. If a business offers delivery, they may continue to provide all food and drink via delivery, including alcohol.
To help support hospitality businesses through this difficult time, I welcome that decisive action has been taken and businesses have benefited from a combination of grants, funds, Government-backed loans and a business rates holiday. This has included business interruption loans, bounce back loans and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which has supported 1.4 million hospitality jobs. I am pleased the CJRS has been extended until the end of April 2021.
Eligible closed hospitality businesses may receive grants of up to £3,000 per month. Furthermore, in light of the England-wide restrictions, the Chancellor has announced additional grants for closed businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector of up to £9,000.
In addition, the temporary reduction in VAT (5 per cent from 20 per cent) for hospitality and tourism businesses has been extended until 31 March 2021.
I am aware that some hospitality businesses have called for the business rates holiday and the temporary reduction in VAT for hospitality and tourism businesses to be extended. All retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will benefit from paying no business rates for the 2020-21 financial year, regardless of their rateable value. This relief applies to over 350,000 properties and is worth almost £10 billion.
I know that the Chancellor is keeping the situation under close review to ensure that the most effective support can be made available when necessary. Likewise, the restrictions in place and will be kept under regular review and I will continue to follow any developments closely.
I am aware that hospitality suppliers have also been adversely affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. I am pleased that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has been engaging with representatives from the hospitality sector, including suppliers, to ensure that they support them throughout and after the Covid-19 crisis.