Hospitality has been pleading for over a week with the Treasury to provide additional financial support following weeks of spiraling booking cancellations – and today, at last, Rishi Sunak has responded.
The Chancellor this afternoon unveiled new measures of financial support for the sector in the form of one-off £6k grants for businesses hit by Covid-19, following a week of mounting criticism that saw him accused of not acting swiftly enough and even ‘going into hiding’.
The new measures announced today will enable businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors to claim a one-off cash grant of up to £6,000 – but many operators seem to feel that this barely scratches the surface.
Sunak has also said the government will be reintroducing the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme, which enables small and medium-sized businesses to claim government compensation to cover employees’ sick pay.
However, restaurateurs, landlords and other industry experts have been quick to point out that this isn’t really enough to tide over a sector that relies on Christmas takings to see it through into the spring.
Sacha Lord, Manchester’s Night Time Economy Advisor, has been very outspoken when it comes to fighting the corner of Manchester’s small hospitality businesses – many of whom are facing closure without a significant package of support and are hoping to see further measures such as the return of furlough and business rates relief reintroduced.
Following the Chancellor’s announcement, he was quick to tweet his thoughts on the new package, which boiled down to the succinct summary: “It’s not a package. It’s an insult.”
Elsewhere, UK Hospitality tweeted their support of the measures, stating: “We’re pleased @RishiSunak has listened to our pleas.
“This is a generous package building on existing support measures to provide an immediate emergency cash injection for those businesses who, through no fault of their own, have seen their most valuable trading period annihilated.”
However, it doesn’t appear that this take has gone down well with the majority of hospitality operators on Twitter – with a torrent of replies to UK Hospitality suggesting many still feel let down and forgotten.
Scott McVittie tweeted: “Sounds generous for headlines but that barely covers a fraction of the monthly payroll. @UKHospKate this minimises they crisis we are facing”
Marshall Stephens said: “‘Generous’ I lost that much in cancellations last week.”
Whilst Gareth Walters said: “This is the opposite to the reaction I’ve seen across bar/restaurant businesses – no one using the phrase generous”
Lazy Lounge added, “Without a furlough scheme, £6,000 isn’t enough to get through 5 days let alone what could quite possible be the next few months.
“Madness! Thousands still going to lose their jobs and many businesses going to disappear.”
Whilst Zoey Clarke said, “6k!? What a slap in the face. That wouldn’t cover the wine order for Christmas. How are you claiming this is generous, will it cover just one week’s salary for an SME?! Rent, tax, lost income. Hopeless. Thank God @Sacha_Lord is here.”
Following a week in which the hospitality industry’s pleas have fallen on seemingly deaf ears, it seems there is more still to be done following these announcements – with many hoping they can continue to pile on the pressure to get more support from the Treasury.
Clearly, more needs to be done in order for hospitality to truly feel supported – especially with reports of further restrictions continuing to loom on the horizon.
Rishi Sunak, however, has said that he thinks the government has responded ‘generously’.
He told Sky News: “We’ve responded I think generously today.
“The grants that we’ve outlined, up to £6,000 pounds, are comparable to grants that we provided to hospitality businesses when they were completely closed earlier this year so there’s a benchmark for you.”
Feature image – SKY / Albert’s Schloss
Family of murdered Salah Adam Eldin, 21, pay tribute to ‘beautiful son and true hero’
The family of Salah Adam Eldin, a 21-year-old stabbed to death in Old Trafford last week, have paid a heartbreaking tribute to a ‘genuine and loving soul’.
Salah sadly died on Wednesday 31 May after he was found with serious injuries on Kings Road.
A murder investigation has been launched, and 19-year-old Demari Adrian Raymond Rose has been charged with murder and possession of a bladed article.
Salah’s family have described him as ‘the backbone of the family’ and described his respectful, kind and caring nature.
They wrote that support has poured in from across the globe, saying that ‘he was so much to so many people’.
In a tribute issued through GMP, his family said: “Salah was the backbone of the family and carried the family through anything and everything. He was our precious, beautiful son and a true hero.
“He was a supportive brother and precious son, a most genuine and loving soul with a big heart. He always found space in his heart to forgive all.
“He was always respectful and had kind words to say for all, everyone who met him wanted to be friends with him and was respected by all people of all ages.
“We are immensely proud of him. The continuous tributes from his friends, as far and wide as Africa, North America, The Middle East, Europe and from every corner of the world as well as here at home in England, his friends coming with heavy hearts and tears of deep sadness.
“Yes, our heart is filled with grief and pain, the reality that we will no longer hear his voice on the end of the phone. We grieve and wait for the day that we will one day all be reunited as a family together again and it will be forever.
“As a family we are able to support one another with the help of the wonderful friends and family that we have in the community and beyond. The support has been immeasurable, with everyone suffering the same pain and loss of Salah. He was so much to so many people. His short time in this world, he has his legacy of being a kind and caring young man and so loved. The amount of people who have reached out to support us, it is overwhelming and yet wonderful at the same time.
“As a mother, I have no words to describe the depth of my pain, grief and sorrow that I am going through, and I wish no mother must experience the layers of sadness and grief that I and Salah’s siblings and family are going through.
“Our lives have changed forever and we thank Greater Manchester Police for doing all they can to get justice and who have been very supportive, and we thank endless stream of friends and the community from the bottom of our hearts for their continuous love and support that they give us.”
Salah’s family have asked for continued privacy while they grieve for their loss.
Featured image: GMP
Coronation Street legend Julie Goodyear diagnosed with dementia
Coronation Street legend Julie Goodyear, who famously played the iconic character Bet Lynch for over 25 years, has sadly been diagnosed with dementia.
Issuing a statement via ITV, her husband Scott Brand confirmed that they had been given the “heartbreaking diagnosis” this week.
Goodyear, 81, played the legendary Rovers Return pub landlord for over two decades across two different spells on the show, starting in 1966 before leaving the show for good in 1995.
Brand told the outlet on Wednesday: “Unfortunately, Julie has been suffering forgetfulness for some time and we have been seeking medical advice and assistance, but we now know that there is no hope of a reversal in the situation – and that her condition will get progressively, and perhaps speedily, worse.”
He went on to say that he and Goodyear “have taken the decision to publicly announce the diagnosis as Julie still loves visiting friends and eating out”, noting that she inevitably gets recognised “and fans love to meet her – and she them – but she can get confused particularly if she is tired” and adding they “hope people will understand.”
The Manc soap star and household name is from Heywood in Rochdale and retired from acting in 2003 after making her final special appearance on the Coronation Street spin-off, After Hours.