Covid-19 support for businesses – an additional £1 billion package announced

Covid-19 support for Businesses most impacted by Omicron has today been announced by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak. Totalling £1 billion, these measures are part of the package of government actions to assist businesses impacted by Covid-19.

The measures announced today consist of a one-off grant of up to £6,000 for hospitality and leisure businesses, Statutory Sick Pay cover in certain situations and £30 million funding for cultural organisations:

  • In England, hospitality and leisure sector businesses will be eligible for grants of up to £6,000 (as a one-off payment, per premises).
  •  As discretionary funding, in excess of £100 million is being provided is being made available through local authorities to provide support to other businesses
  • The cost of Statutory Sick Pay for Covid-related absences (for small and medium sized businesses in the UK) will be covered by the Government

Through the Culture Recovery Fund, an additional £30 million funding is to be made available to enable cultural organisations in England to apply for winter support.

Covid-19 support for businesses – £683 million targeted grants for hospitality & leisure businesses

Up to £6,000 per premises will be payable as a one-off grant for businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors in England. According to Hospitality UK, many businesses in this sector have lost between 40 and 60% of their trade in December, which is often their most profitable month of trading.

The Government estimates that circa 200,000 businesses will be eligible for these grants. The payment of these will be administered by local authorities.

Additional Restrictions Grants (ARG)

£100m is also being provided via the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) fund. Through local authorities, these are intended to support other businesses that have been impacted by Omicron, including those who supply the hospitality and leisure sectors.

These will be allocated by local authorities to allocate at their discretion. Payments from the Government are to be prioritised to those authorities that have already allocated most of their existing allocations.

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS)

Small and medium-sized employers will be eligible for this scheme, which is being reintroduced. It provided the reimbursement of the cost of SSP (for Covid-related absences). This applies for up to two weeks for each employee. Eligible for the scheme starts from today. Claims will be able to be made retrospectively from mid-January 2022.

Culture Recovery Fund

An additional £30 million funding is to be made available through this fund, which is intended to support organisations including museums, theatres and orchestras through to March 2022.

Additional support for devolved administrations to provide Covid-19 support for businesses

Also confirmed today, devolved administrations are to receive circa £150m in funding through the Barnett formula. This is broken down as £80m for the Scottish Government, £25m for the Northern Ireland Executive and £50m for the Welsh Government.

Covid-19 support for businesses – Further information:

Additional information can be found here on the Government website.

Alexander & Co

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