The British Takeaway Campaign (BTC) is urging the Government to modify the eligibility criteria for the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) to help draw investment into the hospitality sector.
Considering the existential challenges facing small and independent businesses during the COVID-19 crisis, access to capital, rather than debt is vital they say if business owners are to rebuild.
EIS rules dictate that a company must be less than seven years from its first commercial sale to qualify for the scheme, while SEIS rules require companies to be less than two years old and caps investment at £150,000. The BTC has called for these specific criteria to be relaxed to encourage investors to invest in established, proven businesses so they can access the capital they need to rebuild.
As part of its Budget representation, the BTC also called on the Government to commit to four further policy asks:
Extending the 5% VAT rate cut for hospitality and the 100% business rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure for financial year 2021/22
Further support for the sector on the issue of rent repayments, including loans to tenants where landlords have provided rent concessions
Extending grants for SMEs to access new technology, equipment and specialist advice
An exemption for the smallest businesses – with fewer than five premises – from proposed online advertising bans on HFSS products which will threaten the sector’s recovery.
Ibrahim Dogus, Chair of the British Takeaway Campaign, said: “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic crisis, thousands of previously viable businesses in the hospitality sector are now on the brink of failure. Our members – small, independent businesses, including restaurants and takeaways, food manufacturers, supply-chain organisations and trade associations – are part of the backbone of the UK economy. Many have been able to remain open during the crisis, however, they desperately need this