The travel and hotel sector has suffered unprecedented impact as a result of the rapid spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
We are working hard to support our customers through this exceptional time as they endeavour to maintain bookings and, in some cases, depending on location, deal with staff sickness and lockdowns.
The UK Chancellor’s first budget today predictably focused on measures to reassure and provide financial recompense and we welcome the announcement on business rates targeted to support the hospitality sector. Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses such as shops, hotels, restaurants and cinemas with a rateable value up to £51,000 will not have to pay business rates for a period of one year. This offers a lifeline in easing cash flow for hotel businesses as they navigate their way through the next few months.
Hotel businesses should also take note of the interest rate cut of 0.5% this morning – this should make borrowing cheaper for these companies.
Hotels employing under 250 staff will also be able to claim back Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for up to 14 days’ sickness – which will ease the burden on wage bills if staff are unable to work.
The introduction of a business interruption loan scheme, making available a maximum loan per business of £1.2million on preferential terms, should also be acknowledged as an option for firms affected by COVID-19 to help them through the next few months.
Visit avvio.com/coronavirus to receive daily updates on the COVID-19 impact on the UK and IRL markets