Calls for 'Christmas compensation' for South Yorkshire pubs and restaurants forced to close by Covid restrictions

Bars and restaurants in South Yorkshire forced to close due to Covid-19 restrictions should be given ‘Christmas compensation’, metro mayor Dan Jarvis has said.

Tuesday, 5th January 2021, 7:00 am

South Yorkshire’s hospitality sector has been one of the hardest hit in the country due to Tier 3 restrictions coming in from October.

It has meant pubs and restaurants have been closed for around three months.

Government has provided councils with enough funds to cover up to £3,000 of costs for businesses forced to close through the Local Restrictions Support Grant.

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Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis

But Mayor Jarvis said the grant levels ‘fall short’ of the fixed costs facing many businesses, who must still pay rent, utilities, insurance and security as a minimum.

The mayor also added that the LRSG also ‘does not take account’ of the huge loss of income from the Christmas trading period, where some hospitality businesses in the region make 40 per cent of their annual takings.

Mayor Jarvis has called on Government to look again at the support available and increase the grant available for businesses forced to close by at least 50 per cent.

“If we don’t get help to businesses soon, it will be too late for many of them,” Mayor Jarvis said.

“This isn’t just about the short-term harm done today to workers and businesses, but about the long-term harm done tomorrow and beyond to our regional economy.

“If Covid-19 has taught us anything, it’s how much we all value the places where we come together to spend time with family and friends: our favourite restaurants and pubs, and cherished arts, heritage, culture and entertainment venues.

“In South Yorkshire we’ve worked to support those businesses that have fallen through the cracks of the national support scheme.

"We’ve made every pound of support go as far as possible, targeting support at businesses forced to close and those who have remained open but have been trading under severe conditions.

“But the paltry and dwindling support on offer from Government means we risk losing some hospitality and accommodation businesses forever, leaving our high streets hallowed if we do not offer a lifeline at this critical time to support them.”

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