COVID-19 support for the Hospitality & Tourism sector and related supply chain

So far in 2022, encouraging progress has been made in slowing the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Large outdoor events were permitted to return from 17 January, indoor events from 24 January, and from 31 January the "Work from home if you can" guidance was relaxed. However, the restrictions still in place continue to impact many businesses and further details have now been released on how the Scottish Government's funding support package will be distributed to those businesses most impacted.

Below, we have summarised the key details we believe are most relevant:

Scottish Wholesale Food & Drink Resilience Fund - applications close on 13 February 2022

This fund is targeted at food & drink wholesalers who sell food and drink into the hospitality sector and on-trade. Food & drink wholesale must be the main primary part of the business, equating to 80% or more of business turnover.

Businesses can apply for support if they have been negatively impacted by either or both of the following:

COVID-19 public health restrictions imposed on hospitality and on-trade during the period from the start of January 2021 to the end of August 2021.
Emergence of the Omicron variant and related public health restrictions on hospitality and the on-trade that were introduced in December 2021 and continued in January 2022.

Full guidance and the application form are available here. Applications close at 11.59pm on 13 February 2022.  

Scottish Food & Drink Producers Fund - applications close on 13 February 2022

This fund is targeted at food & drink producers supplying to the hospitality sector, who suffered financial loss due to cancelled orders as a result of the new hospitality restrictions. A food & drink producer is defined as a primary or secondary producer, such as a meat producer, farmer, baker, food processor, or hatchery, who manufactures, makes, grows, processes or repackages consumable products. Businesses who carry out wholesale and retail operations may apply as long as the primary function of the business is production.

Full guidance and the application form are available here. As above, applications close at 11.59pm on 13 February 2022. 

Scottish Brewers Support Fund 2022 - forms to be returned by 28 February 2022

This is a one-off grant payment for businesses trading before 8 December 2021 - any business set up after this date is not eligible. Breweries who previously received funding from the Brewers Support Fund Phase 1 (part of the Contingency Fund Plus), plus any new brewery businesses which meet the eligibility criteria, are entitled to this payment. Eligible businesses will receive:

  • £5,625 for businesses with a rateable value up to and including £18,000
  • £8,700 for businesses with a rateable value between £18,001 and £51,000
  • £29,500 for businesses with a rateable value above £51,000 or whose annual beer production exceeds 5,000HL

The fund is administered by local authorities, who will contact businesses by letter, email, or another method of communication. All grantees will be required to complete and return the self declaration forms confirming eligibility by 28 February 2022. More information is available here.        

The Public House Table Service Restrictions Fund - fund closes on 14 February 2022

The fund will provide financial support to licensed public houses, as the group most affected by the measure of table service being introduced. The grant is a one-off payment at the rate of: 

  • £2,500 for businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or below
  • £5,000 for businesses with a rateable value or £51,001 or above

The fund is administered by local authorities, who will contact businesses directly. More information on eligibility and evidence required is available on the Government's website here.   

COVID-19 Business Support and Continuity Tourism Fund

Funding is for tourism businesses impacted by COVID-19 Omicron restrictions is being administered by VisitScotland.

The coach operators, day tour operators, hostels, inbound tour operators, outdoor / marine and visitor attractions sectors are eligible for top-up grants. Businesses which were previously supported by VisitScotland in the coach operators, day tour operators, hostels and inbound tour operators sectors have been contacted directly by email. More details can be found on VisitScotland's website here.

Events sector top-up fund

Events businesses directly affected by the COVID-19 restrictions put in place in December 2021, and which have previously received funding from either the Event Industry Support Funds or the Pivotal Event Businesses Fund, are entitled to receive top-up payments. Payment amounts will be based on pre-COVID annual turnover.

The payments will be administered by VisitScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government and businesses will be contacted from 31 January 2022. There will be no application process to complete. Further details are available on VisitScotland's website here.

VisitScotland is working with the Government to determine how to distribute funding to support businesses which have not previously had access to support, or which continue to experience cancellations or postponements in February and March.

Close Contact Services Fund

Support for close contact businesses such as beauticians and hairdressers has been confirmed and information on how to apply is expected shortly - visit the Scottish Government website for updates.

Get in touch

As always, we'll be keeping a close eye on further developments as they arise. If you would like any more information on the support available, please don't hesitate to get in touch with me or your usual Johnston Carmichael adviser.

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