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HU calls for government to expedite furlough payments

Colin Neill, chief executive, Hospitality Ulster.

Hospitality Ulster is urgently calling for Government to bring forward the payment for furloughed staff, not due until the end of April, as time and cash runs out for shutdown hospitality businesses.

“In normal circumstances, most small hospitality businesses only have two weeks’ cash reserves,” said Colin Neill, chief executive, Hospitality Ulster. “But, with the gradual rundown of business before they were closed by the Prime Minister, these reserves were already under pressure, if not totally exhausted.

“This means that many pubs, restaurants and hotels have been unable to pay furloughed staff all or, in some cases, any of their wages.

“Time and cash are now running out for the majority of hospitality businesses and, if Government does not act now to bring forward payments, we will be back where we started, with businesses being forced to lay off staff.

“Whilst the Government grants are starting to come through for the smallest businesses, the majority of businesses have yet to receive any money, and businesses with a NAV over £51,000 are ineligible. Even premises that have received grants are seeing the money eaten up by outstanding bills and rents, much as the Prime Minister suggested when he announced the grants.”

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