Over 1000 tourism, leisure and hospitality businesses in the city will receive their share of Aberdeen City Council’s £2.1m business recovery grant funding in the next week, it was announced today (Friday 6 August).

£2.1m extra support in the form of grants of up to £5,000 per business is being made available to 1,089 eligible businesses in Aberdeen City. The discretionary top up payment will be paid automatically in the next seven days to businesses who have been verified through previous Covid-19 support schemes.

While national data is showing 97% of businesses are back to trading there are several sectors, due to restrictions and consumer confidence, experiencing significantly slower recovery, these are primarily businesses within the Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality industries.

There is emerging evidence that these businesses are likely to experience what might be described as ‘economic long-Covid’. Even as the public health crisis eases, the challenges affecting the economy will persist over the medium to long-term, with compounding impacts on businesses and households

The extra recovery support recognises those challenges and aims to address some of the hardship encountered to date.

Councillor Ryan Houghton, Aberdeen City Council’s City growth and resources convener, said: “The tourism, leisure and hospitality sector is a vital component of the local economy in Aberdeen and so the additional £2.1m funding will go a long way to supporting the businesses in that sector. In turn, these businesses will have a huge role to play in our Socioeconomic Recovery Plan as we emerge from the pandemic.

“We anticipate a further boost given to the sector as more projects in our City Centre Masterplan, such as Union Terrace Gardens and Provost Skene’s House come to fruition.”

Top up payment will be tiered with licensed hospitality businesses receiving grants of between £5,000 -£3,000, non-licensed hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses receiving grants of between £3,000- £1,500.

Previous discretionary fund recipients categorised as ‘accommodation and food services’ or ‘arts, entertainment, recreation and other services’, will receive a one-off top up to the value of £750 subject to eligibility criteria.

There is no need for businesses to reapply, as the council is contacting eligible businesses to arrange the top-up payments to be made into their nominated bank accounts.

Aberdeen City Council has received a total of £6m through the £120m Local Authorities Discretionary Fund. The Council allocated £3,041,000 over the first two rounds, including top ups to Taxi and Private Hire Drivers.

The remaining funds will be disbursed through a new ‘Business Transition Fund’ to support businesses to adapt to a post Covid-19 economy and accelerate their recovery and growth, as well as a third round of the Discretionary Business Fund which will be open to application from August 17, 2021, prioritising tourism, hospitality and leisure businesses, including supply chain services that have received limited or no support to date.

Further information on the top up and the third round Discretionary Fund criteria can be found at: https://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/services/coronavirus-covid-19/covid-19-discretionary-business-fund

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