Businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors in England will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises, plus more than £100 million of discretionary funding will be made available for local authorities to support other businesses, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said.
The UK Government will also cover the cost of Statutory Sick Pay for Covid-related absences for small and medium-sized employers across the UK.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak said: “We recognise that the spread of the Omicron variant means businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors are facing huge uncertainty, at a crucial time.
“So we’re stepping in with £1 billion of support, including a new grant scheme, the reintroduction of the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme and further funding released through the Culture Recovery Fund.
Ultimately the best thing we can do to support businesses is to get the virus under control, so I urge everyone to Get Boosted Now.”
Local Authorities will have discretion to allocate the extra funding to businesses most in need. The Additional Restrictions Grant top up will be prioritised for those local authorities that have distributed the most of their existing allocation. This is on top of the £250 million of previously allocated funding that remains with local authorities.
As increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases means more workers taking time off work, the government is also reintroducing the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS). The SSPRS will help small and medium-sized employers – those with fewer than 250 employees – 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 today and they will be able to make claims retrospectively from mid-January.
To provide continued support to the cultural sector, £30 million further funding will also be made available through the Culture Recovery Fund to support organisations such as theatres, orchestras and museums through the winter to March 2022.