Hotels are being supported financially by UK Government funding schemes following closures due to the outbreak of coronavirus.
Paul Bream, who owns the Merrion Hotel in Llandudno, Wales, had to utilise the UK Government’s furlough scheme to support his 47 staff and to prevent any redundancies.
The hotel owner was also able to halt his business rates due to a relief scheme provided by the Welsh Government and the UK Government Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). These schemes provide businesses with a loan up to £5 million, with no interest for 12 months
The UK Government support has allowed the Merrion to pay their bills until the hotel is able to open again to the public, while the CBILS has also helped Bream maintain positive relationships with his suppliers.
The Merrion hotel has been closed to the public since March 21 as social distancing measures were put in place by the UK Government.
Bream, who owns the Merrion hotel with his brother Gareth, said: “At the moment we would be in the heart of our season. This is the first time in 70 years that this kind of thing has ever happened and to be closed as we are through the season is bizarre.
“We kept our commitment to staff in the hope that something would come along, but it was deeply unsettling because we just didn’t know what was going to happen. And then the UK government announced the furlough scheme and we just breathed a sigh of relief. We could hunker down for a bit.
“The CBILS loan was offered at the beginning of this and we weren’t sure whether the scheme would be withdrawn or reduced or changed so we took the loan while it was on offer – whether we used it or not was another thing.
Bream is now considering future opportunities to move his business forward in preparation for when customers can return. He said: “Maybe the staycation will be the thing for a couple of years, which would be great, but we have still got to present a safe and reassuring image to customers who are coming away and we want to be in a position to do that.”
This is UK Government advice for England
Businesses can use the UK Government’s simple business support finder to check if they are eligible for financial support. https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder