Rishi Sunak has announced that £1 billion of additional support will be available for businesses most affected by Omicron across the UK with businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors in England eligible for one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises. Plus more discretionary funding will be made available for local authorities to support other businesses
What additional financial support is being made available?
Re-introudction of Statutory Sick Pay for Covid-related absences for the UK
Available from today, for businesses with fewer than 250 employees support will be available to cover the cost of Statutory Sick Pay for Covid-related absences, for up to 2 weeks per employee. Claims to open from mid-January ’22.
Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) fund for local authorities in England
To support other businesses impacted by Omicron, such as those who supply the hospitality and leisure sectors, the government is adding £100 million boost to the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) fund for local authorities in England.
Available at the discretion of your Local Authority to businesses most in need – expected to be available in the coming weeks.
The Culture Recovery Fund
The Culture Recovery Fund is set to receive £30 million of further funding to support cultural organisations in England during the winter.
The Barnett Formula
As part of this support announced today, the devolved administrations will receive around £150 million of funding through the Barnett formula, comprising around £80 million for the Scottish Government, £50 million for the Welsh Government and £25 million for the Northern Ireland Executive.
These additional measures will reinforce the existing package of business support, including:
- business rates relief meaning that the majority of businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors will see a 75% reduction in their business rates bill across the entire financial year and a new 50% capped business rates relief next financial year;
- a 12.5% reduced rate of VAT for hospitality and tourism to support the cash flow and viability of around 150,000 businesses and protect over 2.4 million jobs, until the end of March;
- the £1.5 billion Covid Additional Relief Fund for businesses that have not previously had business rates support;
- businesses will be protected from eviction if they are behind on rent on their premises, thanks to the moratorium in place until March 2022;
- access to finance for SMEs through the Recovery Loan Scheme to June; and
- Bounce Back Loan repayment flexibility, with borrowers having the option to take a 6 month repayment holiday, three 6 month interest only periods or extend their loan to 10 years, which almost halves the monthly payment.
- support for the aviation and travel sectors, including over £12 billion since the beginning of the pandemic, and the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme (AGOSS) until the end of March 2022.
- HMRC stand ready to support any business impacted by the coronavirus pandemic through its Time to Pay arrangement, and the Chancellor has asked them to offer businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors in particular the option of a short delay, and payment in instalments, on a case by case basis, as part of this
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