The British Hospitality Association (BHA) is lobbying the Government to allow hotels to benefit from the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), a series of tax reliefs designed to encourage and assist investments in small UK companies.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer’s autumn statement last year once again failed to include hotels in the EIS. Until 1998, hotels were allowed to benefit from the scheme, but were then disqualified by the incumbent Labour party.
In such a tough economic climate for the hospitality industry, the BHA is understandably very keen to make sure hotels are able to benefit from tax relief systems, especially since the group says it was led to believe that the Government would be ending the restriction on hotels.
Martin Couchman, deputy chief executive of the BHA (pictured), explained: “We had many indications that the restriction would be removed, but this did not happen. At a time when many small- and medium-sized hospitality businesses want to expand and develop, the EIS scheme would have opened the door to new funding opportunities.”
Robin Sheppard, chairman of the Bespoke Hotels group, supports Couchman’s views on the matter, adding: “It is incredibly difficult for hotels to raise money from the banks and I think the Government has missed a trick by not helping hotels through EIS.”