Support in today’s Budget for the hospitality sector and businesses has been welcomed by North Yorkshire County Council

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that business support will continue throughout the lockdown. The Job Retention Scheme, or furlough, will be extended until the end of September. Reductions in VAT for hospitality businesses will continue and there will be an extension to the business rates holiday. Non-essential shops will be able to get a grant of up to £6,000 and hospitality and leisure businesses a grant of up to £18,000 from a £5bn fund to help them reopen after lockdown.

County Council Leader Cllr Carl Les said: “We welcome the actions that will support our high streets, our market towns and our visitor businesses and attractions as they prepare to reopen and begin their recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the months ahead.

“The visitor economy and the hospitality businesses that are such a key part of that are vital to the lifeblood of the county, from coast to Dales. Similarly, the continued strength of our market towns and the communities that surround them is essential not only to the families that live and work there, but also to attract the many visitors, who I am sure long to return to the county when it is safe to do so.

“All these businesses and communities have faced extreme difficulties over the past 12 months, yet many have shown tremendous innovation and enterprise as they have sought to continue to serve the public and to come through the restrictions placed on them by the pandemic. They deserve support, so I am delighted to see the measures that the Chancellor has announced today.

“Meanwhile, we will await further details to understand fully what the Budget will mean to the county and the county council at this crucial time.”

Throughout the pandemic, the County Council has brought local businesses and customers together through its online North Yorkshire Buy Local platform, launched in spring last year.

Cllr Les added: “Almost 900 businesses have so far registered with Buy Local. I would urge any that have not yet done so, to sign up now. Residents unfamiliar with the site should take a look to see the breadth of businesses offering goods and services, many of which may be new to them. The website will continue to bring together businesses and customers beyond the pandemic.”

Businesses and shoppers can access Buy Local.