Hospitality businesses here in Cheadle have been hit especially hard by the pandemic, given that, between national lockdowns and the local restrictions we were subject to in autumn, our area has endured particularly tight restrictions for several months. I know that the new national lockdown, therefore, will have come as a painful blow to our hospitality sector.
I am pleased that the Government has taken decisive action to support the sector through this difficult time. Any business required to close under the new lockdown is eligible for a one-off grant of up to £9,000, in addition to Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 per month, or, when hospitality businesses can reopen, £2,100 per month to account for the potential impact of restrictions on trade.
The Government has also extended a number of schemes as the pandemic continues. The Bounce Back Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme have all been extended to the end of March 2021; and the furlough scheme has been extended to the end of April.
I know that, despite the Government’s support, this remains a difficult time for the hospitality sector. Nobody wants any more restrictions than are necessary to keep us safe, and I hope that, between this current lockdown and the ongoing deployment of the vaccine, we will soon get the virus under control once and for all, end the pandemic, and allow our hospitality businesses to reopen permanently.