Hospitality businesses to benefit from expanded discretionary grant scheme

LOCAL businesses impacted by the delay to the lifting of all coronavirus restrictions will benefit from further financial support.

At a meeting of the council’s Cabinet on Monday, June 28, council leaders agreed to expand the Discretionary Restart Grant scheme, also known as the Additional Restriction Grant scheme, to provide additional support to hospitality businesses.

The scheme will be expanded to allow for further grant payments to pubs, restaurants and cafes across the district which are unable to operate at capacity while the current restrictions remain in place.

Cllr Christine Bayliss, Rother District Council’s portfolio holder for Economic Development and Regeneration, said: “The last 15 months have been extremely difficult for our local pubs, cafes and restaurants, with lockdowns and social distancing regulations severely affecting their income.

“By providing additional financial support to these businesses now we can help ensure their future, which is vital to the continuing recovery of our local economy.”

The additional grants will be paid automatically to hospitality businesses which have already received a restart grant from the council, with over 170 local businesses set to benefit from the extra funding.

Funding covers the four weeks from June 21 to July 19 2021 inclusive.

Cllr Kevin Dixon, Rother District Council’s portfolio holder for Finance and Performance Management, said: “The delay to the lifting of all coronavirus restrictions has been particularly hard for our pubs, restaurants and cafes , many of whom are small businesses or sole traders with substantial fixed property costs.

“We hope to pay the additional grants to eligible business quickly, enabling them to benefit from the extra funding as soon as possible.”   

Since November last year Rother’s Discretionary Restart Grant scheme has helped 1071 local businesses, with over £2.4m paid out in grant funding.

By providing additional financial assistance to hospitality businesses, the council expects to successfully distribute all of the £2.75m of business grant funding it has received from the government in time to qualify for the additional top up funding announced earlier this year. 

It is anticipated that the council could receive around £700,000 in further funding, enabling the discretionary grant scheme to continue to support local businesses into 2022.

Published: 29th June 2021