Covid business grants not enough, hospitality firms say
Businesses in the hospitality industry hit by customers' renewed concerns over Covid have said a new weekly grant of up to £6,000 is not enough.
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Earlier this week, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £1bn fund allowing firms to apply for a cash injection.
But a pub owner in North Lincolnshire said his firm was losing "a lot more" than £6,000 each week.
Meanwhile, other food businesses have called for "clarity" and for the furlough scheme to be reinstated.
Many hospitality and leisure firms have been hit by a collapse in bookings and reduced footfall due to people's fears over the spread of the Omicron variant.
Owners of restaurants, bars, cinemas and theatres can apply for a cash grant of up to £6,000 every week for each of their premises, Mr Sunak said on Tuesday.
Slawek Mikolajczyk, owner of The Hope and Anchor Pub in South Ferriby, said "any help" was welcome, however he asked: "It's £6,000. How far is that going to go?"
"We'll see, but we are losing a lot more than that in one week. So it's appreciated, but I think they should do a lot more...Definitely it doesn't go far enough," he said.
Mr Mikolajczyk added that his pub had suffered "up to 60%" of booking cancellations in the past year and the grant would "probably cover some of the cancellations for this week and that's it."
"We thought we were going to be open as normal, so we employed a few more staff just to be ready. Unfortunately, customers are scared so they're just cancelling and there's not much we can do apart from asking customers to buy a voucher to see us next year," he said.
Crystal Marinas, who runs The Black Horse pub near Spalding, Lincolnshire, said she was concerned the family firm would not get the full £6,000 of aid because the rateable value of the small business was under £15,000.