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Initial analysis of the package announced by the Welsh Government suggests that the average pub operator in Wales will receive £11,300 in compensation for the tighter restrictions coming into force. 

New restrictions in Wales dictate that pub operators will not be allowed to serve drinks and must close at 6pm from 4 December.

The Welsh grant system will see the average pub with a rateable value of £0-£12k with four employees receive £9,000 to cover a six-week period, while the operator of a site of £12k-£51k rateable value and six employees will receive £14,000 on average. 

Furthermore, the average pub with a rateable value between £51k-£150k with eight employees will receive £17,000, while there is no funding cap for eligible business operating multiple premises. 

However, figures published by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) on 2 December revealed that the average grant payment a pub will receive in England over the next six weeks will be £3,400 – with the total that pubs in England are eligible for currently standing between £3,000 and £5,500.

What’s more, the Scottish Beer and Pub Association (SBPA) has found that the economic support afforded to the average Scottish pub stretches to just £2,700 for the six-week Christmas period. 

A Scottish pub in Covid protection level one, two or three​ will be eligible for £2,100 if the premises has a rateable value of up to and including £51,000, or £3,150 if its rateable value is £51,001 or above. 

What’s more Holyrood has outlined that an upper limit of £15,750 across any six-week period will apply to eligible businesses operating multiple premises.

On top of this, businesses required to close by law in Scotland are eligible for a Temporary Closure grant of £2,000 for a rateable value of up to £51,000 or £3,000 for £51,001 or above, while an upper limit of £15,000 for any four-week period will apply to eligible multiple operators.

Crying out for support

Business grants across the EU

How do grants on offer across the UK compare to some of those elsewhere in Europe?

Germany​ – Grant entitlement is ​€50,000 (£44,785) per SME per month, equating to €1,785.71 (£1,594.14) per day.

France​ – For November and December, businesses can either claim 20% of their turnover as a grant or €10,000 (£8,949), whichever is higher. At €10,000 this works out at €178.57 (£158.77) per day, though for business which exceed the €10,000 threshold this is be considerably higher.

France is also providing tax breaks for landlords if they offer 50% rent discounts to their tenants.

Netherlands​ – The Dutch grant system has been staggered due to the worsening of their Covid-19 crisis. Between April and June €4,000 (£3,578.16) was available per business for the entire period, equating to €47.61 (£42.35) per day

This increased from July to September to €50,000 (£44,785) across the entire period, equalling €594.23 (£528.97) per day.

Finally, between October and December €90,000 (£80,693.10) was made available per business for the entire period, meaning €1071.42 (£956.56) per day.

In light of this comparison, the SBPA has called on the Scottish Government to save thousands of hospitality businesses by “at least” matching the level of pub support pledged by the Welsh Government   

“As a sector, hospitality businesses are on their knees and are desperately crying out for meaningful economic support,” SBPA CEO Emma McClarkin, said.  

“Whilst any grant is of course welcome, the current level of funding does not come close to covering fixed costs, even when closed. In order to support jobs, the Scottish Government needs to at least match the support offered to pub in Wales.  

“Every day that passes without further economic support means that more pubs will stay closed for good and more jobs will be lost as a result.  

“Pubs in Wales have been given a lifeline which we hope will now see most of their pubs reach the other side of the pandemic. Meanwhile, pubs in Scotland face devastation.”    

McClarkin stressed that the Scottish Government cannot delay any further and must announce more support for the sector, which provides more than 100,000 jobs.  

“They must also support the jobs of those workers that are employed by multiple operators,” she continued. 

“The current restriction on grant support means that hundreds of jobs are being put at additional risk, for no reason. Some pubs, if owned by multiple operators will receive absolutely nothing.    

“If the Welsh Government can support hospitality jobs and businesses with this level of support, the Scottish Government must be able to provide at least equitable support. Without it, thousands of pubs likely stay closed for good.”

Northern Irish pubs to reopen

On top of this, the grants scheme available​ to pubs in Northern Ireland will offer up to £9,600 over the festive period when they resume trading from 10 December, according to BBPA calculations.

A business that is the sole occupant operating from a property with a net annual value (similar to rateable value) of £15,000 or less will receive £800 for each week that restrictions apply once trading resumes – equalling £4,800 for six weeks.

What’s more, a business with a net annual value between £15,001 and £51,000 will be entitled to £1,200 per week – or £7,200 for six weeks – while a net annual of £51,001 or more will yield support of £1,600 per week, or £9,600 for six weeks.

Applying a similar pub size weighting to that of Wales, where the largest group are those below £15,000 rateable value, to the Northern Irish pub sector suggests that the average grant per pub will be £6,200, more than double that of their Scottish counterparts and almost twice that of English pubs. 

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