Leicestershire County Council has launched the scheme, which they believe is the only one of its kind in the country, to help the hospitality sector through the devastating effects of the pandemic.
All county pubs have to be closed at present, although they can still offer takeaways and deliveries, with it being under the stricted government Tier 3 restrictions.
The council hopes the cash support can keep people in jobs, maintain the role of the pub as a community hub and help them to diversify by providing extra services for residents.
Councillor Blake Pain, deputy council leader, said: “Pubs are often the beating heart of a small, rural community – and hospitality has taken a big hit during the pandemic.
“We’ve ploughed almost £3million into supporting community groups and small businesses – and want to go further.
“That’s why we’re doubling the money provided by the government and offering £1,000 to help struggling rural pubs.
“We recognise their plight – and want to do all we can to support them through these tough times.
“We’re hoping to start awarding money as early next week so I’d urge pubs which meet the criteria to get in touch.”
The scheme is backed by major trade body, the British Beer and Pub Association, which represents around 20,000 of the country’s pubs.
Chief executive, Emma McClarkin, said: “We welcome Leicestershire County Council`s innovative approach to providing additional financial support for the county`s small rural wet led pubs which will be unable to open over the festive period.
“Hats off to them for responding in our pubs’ hour of need.
“We have been calling on the government to increase the £1,000 one-off payment for pubs impacted by the tighter restrictions, highlighting that it is not enough to cover local pubs’ fixed costs let alone compensate for the loss of the business over the crucial Christmas and New Year trading period.
“I am pleased the council understands the vital social and economic role that local pubs play in their local communities and is willing to offer more support to help their rural pubs survive this bleakest of times and continue to warmly serve their communities in the future.
“I would encourage other county councils to follow suit and government to take note.”
Pubs need to be in a Leicestershire village and able to show how they provide a vital community role to receive a payment.
Go to www.leicestershire.gov.uk/community-pubs to find out more and apply.