The Chancellor has announced a raft of loans and grants for the hospitality sector in his 2021 budget - as well as a welcome extension to the furlough scheme. Here, John Mullen, RoomRaccoon’s Country Manager, takes a look at how the budget will affect the hospitality industry in the UK.
As those of us in the hospitality industry know all too well, our sector has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic.
This year’s budget appears to recognise the specific impact the COVID-19 restrictions have had on the sector and looks to help businesses reopen with a bang.
Most people keep one eye on the budget, but this year’s was really one to watch. Although most businesses have felt the strain during the pandemic, it has been hospitality that has faced the full brunt of the lockdown restrictions. But there is some welcome news in the Chancellor’s new budget for the sector – and signs the government appreciates the unique impact it has had on hospitality.
Businesses will be pleased to hear that the 5% reduced rate of VAT will be extended for six months while the extension of the furlough scheme until the end of September will help protect jobs in the sector.
The furlough extension will also help families who have been unable to work survive until this crisis comes to a close.
The Restart Grants for hospitality is also very good news and will help businesses bounce back after the turmoil of the last year.
As non-essential retail is set to open first, businesses will be able to apply for grants of up to £6,000 to help them reopen.
However, as hospitality will be reopening later, grants of up to £18,000 will be available.
This will be a valuable lifeline for many in the sector and will help businesses hit the ground running when the UK reopens.
This budget goes some way in helping hospitality to reopen when restrictions are lifted – but it will be up to us to make it a success.