Government Support for the Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism Sector

If you are an SME in the Hospitality, Leisure, Tourism sector experiencing lost or deferred revenues as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak you can access:

Financial support

Loans Open for applications until  30 November 2020


If your business is required to close due to local lockdowns or targeted restrictions will now be able to receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month. These will be administered by the Local Authorities and more information will be available on your Council’s website.

    • Does your premise have a rateable value of or below of £15,000?
      You will receive £667 per two weeks of closure (£1,334 per month).
    • Does your premise have a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000?
      You will receive £1,000 per two weeks of closure (£2,000 per month). 
    • Does your premise have a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or above?
      You will receive £1500 per two weeks of closure (£3,000 per month).

If you are you an independent cinema whose business has been unavoidably interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic you may be eligible for the Culture Recovery Fund for Independent Cinemas.

The Fund can provide:

    • one off safety grants to help you make your venue safe for staff and audiences and
    • business sustainability grants to underpin ongoing organisational viability

Employment Support

The scheme provides you with a grant to enable you to continue paying part of your employees’ salaries rather than making them redundant. 

  • Jobs Support Scheme – Scheme starts 1st November

If you remain open, but are experiencing a decrease in demand with the scheme:

    • Your employees work a minimum 33% of contracted hours
    • For hours not worked you and the government each pay one third 
    • Government pays up to £697.92 per month
    • Your employees earn a minimum of 77% of their normal wages

If you are legally required to close due to local restrictions with the scheme:

    • Government pays 2/3 of your employee’s salary
    • You pay NI & pension
    • Your employees earn 67% of salary

A Job Support Scheme Open factsheet can be found here. In addition, UKHospitality has produced a briefing document for its members which provides further clarity.

For every employee you have previously furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and continue to employ through to 31 January 2021 (must earn at least £520 a month), you will receive a onetime payment of £1,000. You can still claim the bonus if you make a claim for that employee through the Job Support Scheme.

  • Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) – November 2020 – April 2021
    If you are self-employed and have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 you can benefit from the SEISS extension.
    • First Grant (November-January)
      The first grant will cover 20% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits up to £1,875 in total.
    • Second Grant (February 2021 to the end of April)
      The government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.

You can claim SSP for eligible employees who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are self-isolating in line with government advice .

If you are asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and you’re on a low income, unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, you may be entitled to a payment of £500 from your local authority under the scheme.

The scheme can provide you with funding to create new 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

Funding for each job placement covers:

    • 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week
    • the associated employer National Insurance contributions
    • employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions

Applications must be for a minimum of 30 job placements. If you are unable to offer this many job placements, you can partner with other organisations like the Growth Company to reach the minimum number. 

VAT cuts and Business rates relief

If you are a VAT registered businesses, you can apply for a temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT to certain supplies relating to hospitality, hotel and holiday accommodation and admissions to certain attractions.

  • Payment holidays for VAT and self-assessment tax
    • If you have deferred VAT due from 20 March to 30 June 2020 you have the option to spread out your VAT bill over eleven smaller interest-free payments during the 2021-22 financial year using the government’s new VAT deferral “New Payment Scheme”. To take advantage of the scheme, businesses will need to opt-in. The opt-in process will be set up by HMRC in early 2021.
    • If you complete a self-assessment tax return and chose to delay your second payment on account, you can pay your deferred July 2020 payment on account any time up to 31 January 2021.

If you have up to £30,000 of Self-Assessment liabilities you will be able to benefit from an additional 12-month extension from HMRC on the “Time to Pay” self-service facility. This means that payments deferred from July 2020, and those due in January 2021, will now not need to be paid in full until January 2022.

If your property is a restaurant, café, bar, pub, cinema, live music venue, assembly or leisure property (i.e. sports club, gym or a spa) or a hospitality property  (i.e.hotel, guest house or self-catering accommodation) you will not have to pay business rates for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.

Insolvency support

The government has introduced the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 to amend insolvency and company law to support business to address the challenges resulting from the impact of coronavirus. These changes include temporary and permanent measures. Amongst these, is the introduction of a new moratorium to give companies breathing space from their creditors while they seek a rescue.

Our guide addresses the changes to Insolvency Law and what are the best steps to consider for your business if you are experiencing cash-flow difficulties

Other support available

If you are a commercial tenant, you will be protected from the risk of eviction until 31 December 2020. In addition, the government has also extended the restriction on landlords using Commercial Rents Arrears Recovery to enforce unpaid rent on commercial leases, until the end of 2020. 

Universal Credit and other Social Welfare Benefits

If you have lost your job or are working reduced hours you may be able to claim: 

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