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SWT grant scheme for hospitality businesses

23 December 2021 : Council news, Business

Somerset West and Taunton Council is establishing a discretionary grant scheme to provide financial support to businesses in the hospitality sector.

The Hospitality Support Grant targets support to businesses that have been most directly impacted by Government guidance on limiting social contact in the run up to Christmas.

Businesses with a business rates account which derive the majority of their income from serving food and/or drink on their premises will be able to apply to the scheme.

To be eligible to apply, applicants must:

• Be the current ratepayer and be in occupation of business rated premises in the Somerset West and Taunton District

• Provide food and/or drink to be consumed on the premises, offering in-house food and drink services to the general public

• Operate within the following hospitality-based sectors:
   Restaurants (not takeaways)
   Public houses/pub restaurants
   Wine bars
   Night Clubs Cafes

• Derive 50% or more of the business’s income from in-house services (as opposed to off-site events)

• Have suffered financial losses to the business during the Covid pandemic from December 2021 onwards

• Businesses must have been trading on 1 November 2021 and must intend to remain open unless Covid 19 Government guidance does not permit this.

Grant awards of between £1000 to £5000 will be made related to the rateable value of the business premises.

The application process is expected to go live at the end of the first week in January 2022. Full details of the scheme are available on the Council’s website.

In addition to the support being provided by the Council, the Government announced on 21 December that financial support will be made available for specific businesses who have been impacted by the Omicron variant.

The announcement states that: 

• Businesses that are within the rating system and are in the hospitality and leisure sectors in England will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises, plus more than £100 million discretionary funding will be made available for local authorities to support other businesses.

• Government will also cover the cost of Statutory Sick Pay for Covid-related absences for small and medium-sized employers across the UK

• £30 million further funding will be made available through the Culture Recovery Fund, enabling more cultural organisations in England to apply for support during the winter

The full announcement can be viewed at Gov.uk.

The Council is currently awaiting the detail and funding from Government regarding the one-off grants and will be working to distribute funding to qualifying businesses as soon as practicable.

Based on previous experience of the process in relation to earlier schemes, SWT anticipates being in a position to commence payment of the grants towards the end of January. Details will be made available on the Council’s website.