It has been revealed that over £25 million has been paid out to more than 2,000 hospitality businesses through the Omicron Hospitality Payment scheme in Northern Ireland. The payments have been based on the businesses rateable value and have gone out to restaurants, cafés, coffee shops, bistros, snack bars, nightclubs, pubs and social clubs as a one-off grant payment of either £10,000, £15,000 or £20,000.
Providing Vital Support To Hospitality
Speaking about the roll-out of the scheme on the Newsletter website, the Finance Minister Conor Murphy said:
“My Department has worked at pace to deliver this scheme and I’m delighted that over £25.5million has so far been issued to hospitality businesses here. These one-off grants will provide vital support to the hospitality industry which suffered a severe loss of trade as a result of Omicron.”
“I encourage businesses which still haven’t verified their details to do so quickly to enable the Omicron Hospitality Payment to be made.”
The Scheme Has Now Been Extended To Hotels
The scheme has recently been extended so as to include hotels, which have also been hit very hard by the virus. On this Mr Murphy added that:
“Hotels are a vital part of our hospitality industry and have undoubtedly been impacted by Omicron facing cancellations over the festive period.
“I was determined to ensure hotels were not left without support and in the absence of a bid for funding for a scheme to help this sector being brought forward, my Department has again taken the lead and obtained Executive approval to include hotels in the Omicron Hospitality Payment scheme.”
Certain Sports Clubs Are Also Being Supported
The article also goes on to say that:
`The Executive has also agreed to extend the Omicron Hospitality Payment to include certain sports clubs with a licensed bar or restaurant facility.
A maximum one-off £10,000 payment will be available to sports clubs that operate a bar or restaurant, have a liquor license and received less than £50,000 in total from the Department for Communities Sport Sustainability Fund last year.`
It is great to see that these hospitality businesses are still being supported by the authorities. Omicron came along at a very bad time for the trade, leading to lots of lost revenue over the festive period, so these payments will be very gratefully received by all the recipients. Let us hope that the rest of 2022 will prove a lot less fraught and the hospitality sector does a roaring trade.