New support for businesses in England and other regions as Omicron variant takes its toll

The Chancellor has announced a raft of new measures to support UK businesses in response to the effects of the Omicron variant.

 The following notes set out what has been promised.

New hospitality and leisure sector grants in England

Businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors in England will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises. As before, this funding will be administered by local authorities.

Recipients must be solvent businesses, and ratepayers in the hospitality and leisure sector. For example, a pub; hotel; restaurant; bar; cinema; or amusement park.

The amount of grant that can be claimed will depend on rateable value:

  • Rateable value £0 to £15k – grant £2,700
  • Rateable value £15k to £51k – grant £4,000
  • Rateable value £greater than £51k – grant £6,000

Business owners in England who feel they could qualify for this grant should contact their local authority.

Other businesses affected by COVID disruption

To support other businesses impacted by Omicron – such as those who supply the hospitality and leisure sectors – the government is also providing more than a £100 million boost to the Additional Restrictions Grant fund for local authorities in England.

Statutory Sick Pay Recovery Scheme (SSPRS)

To support small and medium-sized employers– those with fewer than 250 employees – the SSPRS scheme is being re-introduced.

It will benefit employers by reimbursing them for the cost of Statutory Sick Pay for Covid-related absences, for up to 2 weeks per employee. Firms will be eligible for the scheme from 21 December 2021, and they will be able to make claims retrospectively from mid-January.

Cultural sector to benefit from £30m in funding

To provide continued support to the cultural sector, £30 million of further funding will be made available through the Culture Recovery Fund to support organisations such as theatres, orchestras, and museums through the winter to March 2022.

Regional variations

The UK government is also providing regional governments with additional funding to offer similar support.

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