To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will take urgent steps to ensure that floating bar and restaurant businesses that are not eligible for business rates are able to access the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund during the covid-19 outbreak.
The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund has been designed to support smaller businesses in some of the sectors which have been hit hardest by the measures taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
The scheme has been tied to the business rates system and rating assessments, which together provide a framework for Local Authorities to make payments as quickly as possible.
On 1 May 2020 the Business Secretary announced that a further up to £617 million is being made available to local authorities. This additional fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs such as rents rather than business rates. We are asking local authorities to prioritise businesses in a range of shared workspaces, regular market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief, and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates. Local authorities may choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need.