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Government Support for the Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure Sector

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Your business guide to the 2021 Autumn Budget - What were the key measures announced?

Support for businesses

Sector-specific financial support


1. Restart Grant scheme - Applications closed on 30 June.

This scheme will provide one-off grants of up to £18,000 to businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors to help them reopen following the national lockdown. More information on the scheme is available through our dedicated grants page 

2. Additional Restrictions Grant 

The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) is a discretionary grant supporting businesses that are not covered by other grant schemes or where additional funding is needed.

Please note that the second top-up of £425 million of ARG funding will be allocated to Local Authorities when they have spent or made a validated attempt to spend 100% of their first two ARG allocations combined. Local Authorities have until 30 July 2021 to meet all necessary conditions to be eligible to receive the top-up. 

Further information on the grants outlined above is available through our guide here

Click here to see what is available via your Local Authority

Live Events Reinsurance Scheme - scheme running until September 2022

From September 2021, under the new government-backed insurance scheme worth over £750 million, event organisers will be able to purchase cover for government-enforced cancellation due to the event being legally unable to happen due to Government Covid restrictions alongside their standard commercial events insurance.

While the scheme will cover the cancellation, postponement, relocation or abandonment of events due to new UK Civil Authority restrictions in response to COVID-19, it will not cover self-isolation of staff or performers or cover loss of revenue prompted by lower demand for tickets or venue capacity.  

Note: In order to be eligible, you must have or purchase a standard events cancellation policy (or a policy that includes event cancellation coverage) provided at least in part by a participating insurer within the scheme. The cover backed by the scheme will not be offered on a standalone basis.

Visit the government website for the full scheme rules.


Financial support for all sectors

Financial support


Grant support for businesses affected by coronavirus restrictions

A summary of the different grants available for businesses affected by coronavirus restrictions is available through our guide, hereAll grants are allocated through the local authority, so please review your local council's page to see what is available in your area.

Please note that phishing emails seeking to target those eligible for the extended business support grants have been reported. Guidance on recognising phishing emails and texts has been published by the government and additional resources are available through our dedicated Cyber crime awareness during the Coronavirus outbreak page.


  • Recovery Loan scheme for loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £10 million (for businesses of any size). The scheme has been extended to 30 June 2022 but will change from 1 January 2022 with finance being available up to a maximum of £2 million per business. 

Employment Support

The scheme provides you with a grant to enable you to continue paying part of your employees’ salaries rather than making them redundant.

You can claim back up to 2 weeks of SSP paid to eligible employees who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are self-isolating in line with government advice.

On 9 September 2021, it was announced that you can only claim for employees who were off work on or before 30 September 2021.

However, businesses, will until 31 December 2021, be able to claim back SSP costs via the rebate for any eligible absence that occurred up to 30 September 2021. 


  • Kickstart Scheme - has been extended to March 2022 and will be open to applications from employers and gateways until 17 December 2021.

The scheme can provide you with funding to create new 6-month job placements for young people who are currently on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. 

Funding for each job placement covers:

  • 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week
  • the associated employer National Insurance contributions
  • employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions

Applications must be for a minimum of 30 job placements. If you are unable to offer this many job placements, you can partner with other organisations like the Growth Company to reach the minimum number. 

From 3 February 2021, the 30 job placement threshold will be removed and businesses can apply directly to the scheme regardless of the number of job placements. Employers can also choose to apply through a Kickstart gateway, including those supporting sole traders.

To help you make a successful Kickstart Scheme application the government has published a series of tips available through the government website


  • Apprenticeships support 

Incentive payment to hire new apprentices 

  • Employers hiring an apprentice between 1 April 2021 and 30 September 2021 can apply for a one-off payment of £3,000. Applications close on 30 November 2021.
  • Employers hiring an apprentice between 1 October 2021 to 31 January 2022 will also be able to apply for a one-off payment of £3,000 from 11 January 2022. Applications for this period will close on 15 May 2022.


  • Placement support

T Level employer incentive payment scheme

  • Employers can claim £1000 for every T Level student they host on a high-quality 45 day (315 hour) industry placement that commences between 27 May 2021 and 31 July 2022. You can offer a T level placement if you are looking for talent in areas such as catering and hospitality, business and administration, digital and IT and others. The full list of skill areas within scope is available on the government website.

Export support

The Fund will provide small and medium-sized businesses new to importing or exporting with grants up to £2,000 to help with training or professional advice.

New guarantee scheme providing SMEs with export finance up to £25 million helping them recover from COVID-19.

Gives small and micro-businesses the know-how to sell to customers around the world with confidence.

Providing UK exporters access to working capital finance for specific export-related contracts.

Insurance from UK Export Finance to manage risk in challenging markets.

A loan from UK Export Finance for overseas buyers to finance the purchase of capital goods and/or services from UK exporters.


Other support available


VAT cuts and Business rates relief 

  • VAT: reduced rate for the tourism and hospitality sectors 

    If you are a VAT registered business, you can apply a temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT to certain supplies relating to hospitality, hotel and holiday accommodation and admissions to certain attractions until 30 September 2021.

    Between October 2021 and April 2022, there will be an interim rate of 12.5%. 


If your property is a restaurant, café, bar, pub, cinema, live music venue, assembly or leisure property (i.e. sports club, gym or a spa) or a hospitality property  (i.e.hotel, guest house or self-catering accommodation) you will not have to pay business rates for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. 

In the 2021 Spring Budget, it was announced that the business rates holiday will continue to apply for these businesses until June 2021. After that, businesses will be eligible for a discount and will only be required to pay 66% of their business rates bill until the end of the financial year. Most councils will automatically apply the 66% discount applicable from 1 July to qualifying businesses. However, some councils state that in order to receive a discount from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022, eligible businesses will need to complete a form. To ensure you get any relief you might be eligible for, visit your local council's website Contact your council about business rates bill - GOV.UK (

In the Autumn Budget, the Chancellor announced that the government will continue to support the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in 2022-2023 introducing a new temporary 50% business rate discount for eligible properties capped at a maximum of £110,000.  

Other tax relief

Extension of moratorium on forfeiture of business tenancies

Commercial tenants are protected from eviction until 25 March 2022.

To resolve any remaining commercial rent debts accrued because of the pandemic new laws and a Code of Practice are being introduced.

The new Code of Practice will provide landlords and tenants with a clear process for settling outstanding debts.

The Code sets out that, in the first instance, tenants unable to pay in full should negotiate with their landlord in the expectation that the landlord waives some or all rent arrears where they are able to do so.

From 25 March 2022, new laws introduced in the Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Bill, being introduced in Parliament on 9 November 2021, will establish a legally-binding arbitration process for commercial landlords and tenants who have not already reached an agreement, following the principles in the Code of Practice. Subject to Parliamentary passage, this will come into force next year.

The laws will apply to commercial rent debts accrued by businesses that were mandated to close, in full or in part, from March 2020 until the date restrictions ended for their sector (e.g. pubs, gyms and restaurants). Debts accrued at other times will not be in scope.

Other business support measures

Temporary measures including the restrictions on statutory demands and winding up petitions as well as the temporary modifications to the new (and otherwise permanent) moratorium procedure, which relaxed the entry requirements to it will be phased out from 1 October.

However, new measures will be brought in to continue to support businesses. The new legislation will:

  • Protect businesses from creditors insisting on repayment of relatively small debts by temporarily raising the current debt threshold for a winding up petition to £10,000 or more.
  • Require creditors to seek proposals for payment from a debtor business, giving them 21 days for a response before they can proceed with winding up action.

These new measures will be in force until 31 March 2022.


The Trade Credit Reinsurance Scheme - ended on 30 June 2021

• The Trade Credit Reinsurance (TCR) scheme which was introduced in 2020 as a temporary solution to companies struggling to get insurance cover for transactions because of the pandemic will close on 30 June as planned.

Support for individuals

If you are self-employed and have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 you can benefit from the SEISS extension. Visit our guide to find out more about the fifth and final grant covering the period May 2021 - September 2021.

If you are asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace (or you’re the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate) and you’re on a low income, unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, you may be entitled to a payment of £500 from your local authority under the scheme.

If you have lost your job or are working reduced hours you may be able to claim: