Coronavirus: Large Tourism and Hospitality Business Support Scheme
The Large Tourism and Hospitality Business Support Scheme closed to new applications at 6pm on Wednesday 31 March 2021.
Operation of the scheme by council, constituency and sector
The Large Tourism & Hospitality Business Support Scheme (LTHBSS) is providing support to large businesses in these sectors that have been significantly impacted by the Health Protection Regulations which came into force on 16 October 2020.
Invitations to apply commenced on Friday 26 February, with 329 applications invited to date. Upon validation of claims, eligible businesses will receive a grant (paid in one lump sum) for each week the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 are in place for the two initial periods of restrictions:
- restriction period one: 16 October 2020 to 11 December 2020 (5 October 2020 for businesses in the Derry City & Strabane District Council area); and
- restriction period two: 26 December 2020 to 31 March 2021.
A separate top-up payment was issued for the extended period of restrictions from 1 April 2021 to 23 May 2021.
The Department for the Economy (DfE), in tandem with the Department of Finance’s (DoF) Land & Property Service (LPS) identified those potential eligible Large Tourism & Hospitality businesses through their eligibility for DoF’s Localised Restrictions Support Scheme (LRSS).
Further analysis in relation to the operation of the scheme is accessible via the link provided, including a facility to interrogate data by the Local Government Authority or Parliamentary Constituency. As of Friday 9 July, 292 applications had been approved, with 283 processed for payment via Account NI to the value of £50,722,096.
The scheme closed to new applications on Wednesday 31 March. Late applications were considered by exception in circumstances whereby an appeal for eligibility under the LRSS scheme administered by LPS is upheld.
Economy Minister launches a new support scheme for larger hospitality and tourism businesses impacted by coronavirus regulations
The Large Tourism and Hospitality Business Support Scheme (LTHBSS) is a new support scheme from the Department for the Economy. It is designed to provide support to large businesses in these sectors that have been significantly impacted by the Health Protection Regulations which came into force on 16 October 2020.
The scheme was announced on 21 January 2021. Eligible businesses will receive a grant for each week the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 are in place for the two initial periods of restrictions set out below. This will be paid in one lump sum.
- Restriction period one: 16 October 2020 to 11 December 2020 (this should be read as 5 October 2020 for businesses in the Derry City & Strabane District Council area).
- Restriction period two: 26 December 2020 to 31 March 2021
The LTHBSS is designed to provide financial support for large businesses in these sectors named within the Health Protection Regulations which came into force on 16 October 2020. For businesses in the Derry City & Strabane District Council area, any references to 16 October should be read as 5 October 2020. The Scheme will provide additional financial support to help these businesses to meet fixed costs and overheads associated with the survival of their businesses.
Under the new restrictions, hotels are instructed to remain closed until 23 May whereas pubs, restaurants and cafés with outdoor facilities are permitted to open and trade from 30 April onwards. Whilst many of these businesses will not be in the position to have outdoor space and/or facilities available to allow them to open and trade, for some others it may not be financially worthwhile to open and trade within the limitations of the restrictions, and there will also be others who do decide to proceed to open and trade.
It is clear that the ongoing operating restrictions will continue to have a negative impact upon the trading position of such businesses for some time, however, these businesses should be aware that support will be ongoing until a business is permitted to reopen.
There are a number of large providers of leisure and entertainment who are also eligible for LTHBSS as they are regarded as tourism assets. In line with current restrictions, only outdoor facilities are permitted to open prior to 23 May, whilst all others are required to remain closed until 24 May as their facilities are indoor. These providers should be aware that the Department for the Economy will continue to fund the businesses in this category up to and including 23 May.
LTHBSS will be open to those businesses who operate directly within the tourism and hospitality sectors who meet the following criteria:
- named within the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020
- eligible for the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme (LRSS)
- operating in Northern Ireland and trading immediately prior to 16 October 2020 and was not an Undertaking in Difficulty on 31 December 2019.
- operating from premises which have a Total Net Annual Value (NAV) of over £51,000 as identified in the LPS 8th Valuation list for ratings purposes;
- businesses which have failed to comply with a prohibition notice under regulation 7 of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020(b)) would not be eligible for support under the scheme.
- businesses which are providers of hospitality (such as restaurants, cafés, public houses, hotels) and businesses which are providers of tourism accommodation (such as hotels, hostels) are eligible for the scheme.
- business providers of entertainment and leisure that form part of the tourism ecosystem are eligible for the scheme – these are visitor attractions which are regarded as tourism assets.
Bed & breakfasts, motels and guest houses are not eligible for this scheme as they are eligible for the Tourism NI Bed and Breakfast, Guest House and Guest Accommodation Scheme.
How to apply
The Department for the Economy (DfE) will contact eligible businesses to provide an application form (with a unique application number). Once the application form has been fully completed and returned with the required supporting evidence, it will be assessed and a grant payment will issue in March.
If you consider your business to meet the large tourism and hospitality criteria set out in this guidance note, have received an LRSS payment and have a total NAV of £51,001 or above, and have not received an email from the Department for the Economy by 19 March 2021 then please email your details to the LTHBSS mailbox at LTHBSSenquiries@economy-ni.gov.uk.
In line with the eligibility criteria stated above, businesses will be asked to declare that:
- the type of business they operate in is named within the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No 2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020
- the business is eligible for the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme
- as of 16 October 2020 the business was not dissolved or about to be dissolved.
- as of 16 October 2020 the business was not insolvent or insolvency action had not been instigated
- as of 16 October 2020 the business was NOT dormant, i.e. not trading but not insolvent and evidence of that can be provided if required.
- as of 31 December 2019, the business was not in difficulty
- the business’s Total Net Annual Valuation (NAV) is £51,001 and above
- the business has complied with any prohibition notices issued under regulation 7 of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 (b)
Terms and Conditions
You will be asked to confirm you meet the following terms and conditions:
- I am authorised to make this application on behalf of the aforementioned business.
- The grant will be paid on the basis that it complies with the subsidy control chapter of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). If this grant results in a breach of TCA or any other UK Trade Agreement irrespective of whether there was a deliberate or otherwise deception or error, or as a result of any misleading statements given on this form, this grant will be recoverable in full and I may be subject to legal action.
- I understand that any payment received must be declared to HMRC as appropriate as part of the tax return for the business.
- I confirm that I have considered the impact that any payment from the Scheme may have on any insurance claim I may have made or be making.
You will also be asked to declare that you meet the following conditions:
- I certify, that the information I have provided as an authorised applicant for the business is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief and I agree, should DfE, the Northern Ireland Audit Office, or their representatives, determine that grant was awarded on the basis of wrong or misleading information, that grant will be subject to recovery in full.
- I agree that acceptance of this grant means that any officer/agent of the DfE or Northern Ireland Audit Office or their representatives at any reasonable time to enter its premises to interview the applicant and inspect, copy, record and take away any accounting or other record, including original documents, as may be required for the purposes of confirming the eligibility of the applicant.
- I understand that to provide wrong or misleading information to secure public money is an offence and may lead to criminal investigation and prosecution.
- I also understand that the information provided on this claim form will be made available to other government departments and their agencies for the purpose of detecting and preventing crime.
- I understand that, if the Department approves this application, these terms and conditions will be enforceable on the basis of a contract between me/the business and the Department.
- I will make best endeavours to protect employment and minimise redundancies.
Levels of support
If you are approved for LTHBSS, you will receive a grant for each week the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No.2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 are in place. For eligible businesses based in Derry City & Strabane District Council Area this will be from 5 October 2020. For eligible businesses in the rest of Northern Ireland this will be from 16 October 2020.
This weekly payment currently applies for the two initial periods of restrictions agreed by the NI Executive:
- From 5 October/ 16 October to 11 December ( a period of either 8 or 10 weeks)
- From 26 December until 31 March (a period of 13 weeks and 5 days)
Business will receive the following amounts:
- £2,400 per week for businesses where the NAV is £51,001 to £60,000;
- £2,900 per week for businesses where the NAV £60,001 to £70,000;
- £3,400 per week for businesses where the NAV is £70,001 to £80,000; and so on up to £600,000.
- From £600,001 the bands are widened to £100,000 with increments of £2,500. For example £31,900 per week for a business with a NAV of £600,001 to £700,000 and £34,400 per week for a business with a NAV of between £700,001 and £800,000
- £41,900 per week for businesses where the NAV is £1,000,001 or greater.
First published: 22 January 2021