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As coronavirus cases surge across the UK, England and Scotland are entering another lockdown.It is something that comes as no surprise for most keeping a close eye on the coronavirus infection rates. Although that does not take away the impact it will have on businesses struggling to survive.

Here, John Mullen - Account Executive at RoomRaccoon, explores the support businesses in the hospitality sector can expect in the months ahead.

At RoomRaccoon we know the hospitality industry has been one of the hardest hit by lockdown regulations. For many workplaces, the restrictions mean a few weeks working from home on a laptop or adapting to social distancing at the workplace. But for certain business sectors - such as hospitality - this is just not possible. We rely on our guests visiting our hotels, eating in our restaurants and staying at our guest houses to stay in business.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak seems to have heard calls from the sector for support and has unveiled a new £4.6billion lockdown package to help the businesses that need it most. It includes one-off grants of up to £9,000 for businesses in the hospitality sector, as well as retail and recreation, that have been forced to close due to lockdown. These grants will be given on a per-property basis and look to benefit more than 600,000 businesses across the country. It is a step in the right direction, and will no doubt help many firms get through this difficult time.

Thankfully, the Government also announced in December that the furlough scheme would remain in place until the end of April. This valuable resource has helped businesses slim down their staff costs while they feel the impact of COVID-19 restrictions, with the Government paying 80% of wages for staff not at work. The Chancellor’s new lockdown package also runs alongside the previous grants and government backed loans on offer.

2020 was the toughest year faced by the sector in living memory, and 2021 is getting off to a shaky start. But with two vaccines now being rolled out, the new package of Government funding and most importantly the wealth of talent and innovation in the sector, I am sure this will be another challenge the industry will face and overcome.

For more information on grants, loans and tax relief available for businesses in the hospitality sector, visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support