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Hospitality businesses claim £849m through EOTHO

Hospitality businesses claimed £849m through the Eat Out to Help Out scheme (EOTHO) providing discounts for over 160 million meals in August, new government figures show. 

According to HMRC, over 52,000 businesses registered for the scheme and 49,000 of these had made a claim for the scheme by 30 September.

The average discount per meal was £5.24, with figures showing 55% of the discount was claimed by businesses operating primarily as restaurants and a further 28% was claimed by pubs.

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In addition, 93% of claims and 52% of the total discount claimed was for businesses with just one participating outlet.

In August, Rishi Sunak launched the EOTHO scheme to help boost sales in hospitality sectors that were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Since then restaurants have had to close for a second time, however the chancellor has previously declined to rule out if he will introduce similar measures when the economy reopens after the latest lockdown.

Speaking on the matter Sunak first told Sky News: “I won’t talk about specific measures but more broadly, I think it’s right that when we finally exit this, and hopefully next year with testing and maybe indeed vaccines as well, we’ll be able to start looking forward to getting back to normal.

“I think we’ll have to look at the economic situation then and see what’s the best form of our support, and we want to make sure that we get the economy going strongly coming out of this.”

He added: “We want to make sure that we support employment and support people going into jobs, we want all the people who have sadly lost their jobs, we want to help them find new ones.

“We want to get consumers spending again and people out and about. So we’ll look at a range of things to see what the right interventions are at that time.”

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