Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border, was pleased to see much needed support for the struggling hospitality and tourism sectors as part of a packet of measures unveiled by the Chancellor in his Budget today. Support for these sectors has been at the forefront of Dr Hudson’s campaigns since the advent of the coronavirus crisis in March last year.
Measures that will help the hospitality and tourism sectors include:
- An extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until the end of September, ensuring it continues to support employers as they begin to reopen.
- New Recovery Loans and £5bn worth of Restart grants, worth up to £18,000, to help businesses as they reopen. Support for the sports, arts and culture sectors will also be increased by a further £700 million as they begin to reopen.
- Extending the business rates holiday and VAT cut
- New Business Recovery loans ranging from £25,000 to £10 million with an 80% government guarantee
Commenting on the support packages Dr Hudson said:
“It was pleasing to see that the government has listened to my concerns, and those of colleagues from across the House, that the hospitality and tourism sectors needed further support as vast swathes of businesses have seen a huge drop in demand or worse closure due to necessary steps taken by government to prevent Covid-19 from spreading. I have been campaigning for targeted support for these sectors for almost a year now and it is good to see that they are not being left behind.
I have spoken to a number of businesses in Penrith and The Border who will breathe a sigh of relief in the wake of these announcements; particularly around employment support and the extension of the business rates holiday.
Hospitality and tourism have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic and they are so important to our local economy in Cumbria. Above all else, the only way we can get these businesses operating back at something resembling normality is by having coronavirus cases and hospitalisations down at very low levels. This can only be achieved is through a vaccine rollout, the success of which to date the government and NHS should be applauded for, and for people to continue to abide by the mantra ‘Hands, Face, Space.’