Travel agents MIGHT get some of £1bn set aside for UK businesses

By Linsey McNeill
22/12/2021
Home » Travel agents MIGHT get some of £1bn set aside for UK businesses

Advantage CEO Julia Lo Bue-Said says it’s possible agents could benefit from a share of the additional £1bn support package announced for UK businesses this week.

HM Treasury said the money would go to businesses ‘most impacted by Omicron’.

It said the money had been set aside for the leisure and hospitality sectors in England, with one-off grants of up to £6,000 for premises.

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said: “With the surge in Omicron cases, people are rightly exercising more caution as they go about their lives, which is impacting our hospitality, leisure and cultural sectors at what is typically the busiest time of the year.

“That’s why we’re taking immediate action to help with an extra £1 billion in grants to these industries and reintroducing our Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme.”

The Treasury said around 200,000 businesses will be eligible for business grants, available in the coming weeks, but while it said that pubs and restaurants needed additional help it made no mention of travel companies.

However, Ms Bue-Said said there might be some help for travel agents.

“We’re awaiting the detailed guidance from DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) regarding today’s announcement from the Chancellor and we’d like to understand the definition of ‘leisure’ businesses as retail travel agents were included in previous grants.

“However, this will mean that 50% of Advantage’s non-retail business are unlikely to qualify for grants despite seeing an 80% drop in revenue.

“In addition, travel companies will have to fight tooth and nail against other businesses to qualify for the Additional Restrictions Grants that the chancellor has announced, but come at the discretion of local authorities.

“Last week we wrote to the Chancellor again urging him to provide financial support to the travel trade, and to recognise that they have been locked down, unable to fully trade and yet again it looks as though our members are at the back of the queue.”

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