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. [Update 1 Feb 2021: Application deadline extended to 28 February 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.”