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Support package announced for Omicron-hit businesses

On the 21st December, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a package of one-off grants, statutory sick pay support and further funding for the arts and culture.

The announcement includes:

  • 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 discretionary funding will be made available for local authorities via the additional restriction grant (ARG) to support other businesses
  • The Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS) will be reintroduced, with the government covering the cost of Statutory Sick Pay for Covid-related absences for small and medium-sized employers across the UK
  • £30 million further funding will be made available through the Culture Recovery Fund, enabling more cultural organisations in England to apply for support during the winter

Eligibility and how to apply:

Business Grants

The business grants will be administered by local authorities and will be available in the coming weeks.

The intended recipients of these grants are those in the hospitality business, defined as accommodation, food & beverage services and leisure premises.

Recipients must be solvent businesses, and ratepayers in the hospitality and leisure sector.

Grants are per premises and the amount paid is varied by rateable value (RV) of each eligible premises, in three bands:

Rateable Value                        Grant Available

£0-15k                                 £2,700

£15-51K                                £4,000

>£51k                                  £6,000

Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)

The ARG, will be topped up so local authorities can continue to use their discretion to support other businesses in their area, based on local economic need.

The intended use of this funding, although at the local authorities discretion, is to support businesses who are impacted by COVID-19 but may not be eligible for the hospitality and leisure grant.

Details of how to apply for the business grants, will be available shortly on local council websites. You can find your local council here.

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 Wednesday 21st December, and they will be able to make claims retrospectively from mid-January.

The latest government factsheet, can be found here.

Culture Recovery Fund

 £30 million of further funding will be made available through the Culture Recovery Fund to support organisations in England such as theatres, orchestras and museums through the winter. This builds on nearly £240 million allocated to cultural organisations so far this year or currently available for applications online

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