Earlier this month, the government announced a one off £1,000 grant for “wet-led pubs” across tiers 2 and 3 in lieu of Christmas Trade. The Christmas Support Payment (CSP) will be paid on top of the existing £3,000 monthly cash grants for businesses and administered through Local Authorities. Wet-led pubs are those that predominantly serve alcohol rather than provide food. The guidance indicates that pubs must derive less than 50% of their income from food sales to determine that the pub is wet-led, and the LAs may request accounting evidence to support this.

The scheme will close on 29 December 2020 and final applications must be received by LAs by 31 January 2021.

Overview of the Christmas Support Payment

  • the £1,000 flat-rate grant will be paid to wet led pubs in Local Authorities under Tier 2 or 3 restrictions for all or part of the period between the 2 and 29 December
  • pubs must derive less than 50% of their income from food sales
  • the grant is issued to the ratepayer as of 1 December
  • businesses in receipt of other Local Restriction Support Grants or Additional Restrictions Grant, can receive this grant
  • businesses must have been trading on 30 November 2020 to be eligible for the grant – where businesses have been closed during a national lockdown period it is accepted that those businesses are still trading
  • the local authority must call or write to each business stating that by accepting the grant payment, the business is confirming that it is eligible for the grant scheme
  • grant income is taxable

Wayne Thomas, partner at Bates Weston comments:

“This £1,000 Christmas Support Payment will be a welcome addition to the existing reliefs, grants and job support scheme and may help the hard hit pubs survive the loss of trade they will experience over Christmas in Tier 2 and 3. We urge affected clients to keep a close eye on their local authority websites to ensure they are fully aware of the application process.”