HU STATEMENT AS OMICRON PAYMENTS MADE AND SCHEME EXTENDED TO INCLUDE HOTELS
27 January 2022
- Under the scheme, following Executive agreement, hotels will now also be eligible for a one-off grant between £10,000 and £20,000 depending on their rateable value.
- Hospitality Ulster would once again like to thank everyone who took time to fill in the HU Weekly Trading Survey, as the data made the difference.
- Omicron hospitality payments are ongoing, and HU advises members still expecting a payment to keep an eye on their email and junk folder
Reacting to the announcements from the Finance Minister that £23.7million Omicron Hospitality Payments have been issued and hotels will now be included in the payment scheme, Chief Executive of Hospitality Ulster, Colin Neill said:
“Following extensive lobbying by Hospitality Ulster and the NI Hotels Federation, this is a welcome step forward for the hospitality sector with much needed funding provided by the Finance Minister- after what has been an incredibly difficult period. This funding will go some way to supporting hospitality businesses as they start to get back on their feet, facing huge debt and overheads that have been looming for the past two years."
"There is no doubt that the Omicron Christmas period was a wipe-out for hospitality and this funding will give businesses a boost as they begin to reopen and respond to the last two years."
"We applaud the Minister for delivering this package for the hospitality sector and acknowledging the strain felt across the industry."
“It is also welcome that hotels have now been included in the Omicron Hospitality Payment scheme and only right that those providing accommodation receive this vital support when trying to rebalance and bring reignite the tourism offer."
“The next step is to ensure that the right resources are in place to provide hospitality the opportunity to revitalise and prosper once more through a marketing campaign to restore consumer confidence and dedicated hospitality strategy to rebuild the industry. This must include the lifting of all outstanding restrictions that are still imposed and hindering the build back process.”
PRESS RELEASE FROM THE NI DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
Omicron Hospitality Payment scheme extended
Finance Minister, Conor Murphy has announced the Omicron Hospitality Payment scheme will be extended to include hotels and certain sports clubs.
Under the scheme, following Executive agreement, hotels will be eligible for a one-off grant between £10,000 and £20,000 depending on their rateable value.
Making the announcement, Minister Murphy said: “Hotels are a vital part of our hospitality industry and have undoubtedly been impacted by Omicron facing cancellations over the festive period.
“I was determined to ensure hotels were not left without support and in the absence of a bid for funding for a scheme to help this sector being brought forward, my Department has again taken the lead and obtained Executive approval to include hotels in the Omicron Hospitality Payment scheme. My Department will move at pace to get financial assistance out to hotels.”
From next week, Land & Property Services will contact Tourism NI certified hotels by email if they previously received a payment under the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme (LRSS). The email will include a link to an online form, where businesses will be asked to confirm some relevant information and complete a declaration in order to enable payments for the Omicron Hospitality Payment Scheme to issue.
Welcoming the addition of hotels, NI Hotel Federation Chief Executive Janice Gault added: “The Northern Ireland Hotels Federation (NIHF) welcomes the decision and support of the Finance Minister to ensure the inclusion of the hotel sector in the Omicron Hospitality Support scheme. The agreement of The Executive is seen as recognition of the role hotels play in the local economy.
“For most hotels December is their busiest month and trade secured helps to mitigate losses that traditionally occur in the first two months of the new year. Hotels premises experienced a reduction of up to 60% on food, beverage and function business.
“Hoteliers are pleased their plight has been recognised in a similar way to other components of the hospitality industry and welcome the inclusion of the sector in the scheme. To date, January has been quiet but with the relaxing of restrictions, the removal of the Covid passport and hospitals coping with infection levels, the climate is becoming more favourable.”
The Executive has also agreed to extend the Omicron Hospitality Payment to include certain sports clubs with a licensed bar or restaurant facility. A maximum one-off £10,000 payment will be available to sports clubs that operate a bar or restaurant, have a liquor license and received less than £50,000 in total from the Department for Communities Sport Sustainability Fund last year.
Further information will be available on the nibusinessinfo website next week: www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/coronavirus-omicron-hospitality-payment