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Nervous wait for Pizza Express in Crawley as firm prepares for debt talks with creditors

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Photo: Google Street View

Another major restaurant could be the latest victim of changing conditions on the high street.

The chain has reportedly hired in financial advisers ahead of talks with creditors over huge mounted debts.

The company reported a 11% fall in pre-tax profit in the second quarter of the year.

The Chinese owned company is reported to have huge debts that have amounted as the chain has struggled to cope with the changing habits of shoppers.

There are also rumours that the debt could be as much as £1.6m per restaurant.

Pizza Express is currently refusing to comment on what they call ‘speculation’ around their appointing of creditors.

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Over £2m given to Crawley Council for discretionary business grants

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Eligible Crawley businesses can now apply for discretionary business grants.

The government has given the council £2,248,180 in Additional Restrictions Grant, which is given to businesses that have been affected by the lockdown but are not legally required to close.

This funding lasts until March 2022 and is based on £20 per person in Crawley rather than the number of businesses in the town.

Eligible businesses are those who:

  • Are not entitled to Local Restriction Support Grants, and
  • Were open and trading the day before national restrictions were imposed (Wednesday 4 November), and
  • Are now required to close under national restrictions or, while not legally forced to close, are severely impacted by the restrictions.

Applications for the Additional Restrictions Grant can now be made at grantapproval.co.uk

There are different types of grants based on the rateable value of property/property costs or business type.

Businesses can check if they’re eligible for the Additional Restrictions Grant by visiting gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-the-coronavirus-additional-restrictions-grant

There is further guidance and a copy of the West Sussex countywide policy on the council’s website. The scheme will close on Sunday 13 December and the aim is to make payments as soon as possible after that.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of the Council, said:

“While we haven’t been allocated enough funding to help every local business, we will do everything we can to support as many Crawley businesses as possible.

“If you need support please get in touch via the council’s dedicated webpage.”

Applications for the Local Restriction Support Grant opened on 17 November. Businesses forced to close by the second lockdown can apply for this grant at grantapproval.co.uk For more details on help available for businesses visit crawley.gov.uk/emergency/coronavirus-information/businesses-and-employers

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