HU WELCOMES SUPPORT SCHEME EXTENSIONS - BUT REOPENING STRATEGY CRITICAL FOR SURVIVAL

HU WELCOMES SUPPORT SCHEME EXTENSIONS - BUT REOPENING STRATEGY CRITICAL FOR SURVIVAL

05 March 2021

Reacting to Economy Minister Diane Dodds MLA’s announcement of extension of the Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme (CRBSS) and Large Tourism Hospitality Business Support Scheme (LTHBSS) to cover the extended period of Covid restrictions, Chief Executive of Hospitality Ulster, Colin Neill said:

 

“The announcement of the extension of these two vital schemes today is a welcome relief to many within the hospitality sector who have come to rely on these support schemes to help them survive.”

 

“Following on from this week’s announcement of the Pathway to Recovery, it is clear the hospitality sector will remain closed for some time to come. It is essential that support such as the LTHBSS, and other funding packages that have been made available, continues on to help plug the huge gaps due to the prolonged closure of businesses. We also stress the importance of funding measures that are needed when reopen is allowed. As businesses try and build back, support will be needed to shape the future hospitality offer and ensure businesses can remain open and sustainable.”

 

“We are pleased to see this extension, however, there is no doubt that the best way for hospitality businesses to remain viable is for reopening to begin. Reopening will save jobs – therefore we need dates. In our Hospitality Recovery Plan that was published this week, we called for a flexible return policy to be implemented. This will allow for staff to return to work, businesses to begin to make money again, and the rejuvenation and recovery of the hospitality sector to begin. This is a vital move that would boost the industry.”

 

“We now call on The Executive to provide clearer guidance on the reopening strategy, give us indicative dates, and engage with us on the best way to move forward. The hospitality industry has suffered enough blows over the past year, lets now work together to ensure the safe return of our once thriving sector.”

 

 

IN DETAIL

 

  • Economy Minister Diane Dodds announces business support schemes extended to cover new period of restrictions
  • Payments for the Covid Restrictions Business Support Scheme (CRBSS) and Large Tourism Hospitality Business Support Scheme (LTHBSS) will now continue up to 31 March 2021.
  • Minister Dodds: “I know how much businesses across Northern Ireland need to be supported during the Covid pandemic so I am pleased that we are able to extend the time period covered by these two grant schemes. Our business support grants are protecting jobs and businesses now as we plan for the rebuilding and recovery of the economy and the reopening of businesses when it is safe to do so.”
  • The CRBSS provides financial support to businesses forced to close or severely limit their operations as a result of the increased Health Protection Regulations.
  • As of 2 March, more than £42.6million had been paid to over 4,000 applicants under Part A of the CRBSS. A further £3.5million has been paid to almost 1,000 applicants under Part B.
  • Those who have already applied for the CRBSS do not need to reapply for the extended period.
  • The Department has identified over 300 businesses in Northern Ireland which are eligible for the Large Tourism and Hospitality Business Support Scheme.
  • They have been provided with an application form to be completed and returned with supporting evidence. The scheme will make a one-off payment based on weekly amounts of between £2,400 and £41,900 depending on an individual business’ NAV.