Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a new £1billion grant support package for those businesses most impacted by the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

New grants will be available to businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sectors in England, such as pubs and restaurants, as well as additional support for all smaller businesses whose employees are absent for COVID-related reasons.

  • One-off payments of up to £6,000 per premises to be available from an overall pot of £683 million.
  • £102 million in discretionary funding through the Additional Restrictions Grant fund to be made available to English local authorities.
    • This will assist other businesses impacted by Omicron, such as those that supply the hospitality and leisure sectors as well as personal care services.
  • A further £30 million in funding through the Cultural Recovery Fund to support theatres, museums and orchestras until March 2022.
  • With effect from 21 December 2021, a temporary reintroduction of the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS), which ended on 30 September 2021, for employers in any sector with less than 250 employees on 30 November 2021.
    • This will reimburse eligible employers for up to two weeks SSP per employee for a COVID-related absence.
    • Retrospective claims can be made from mid-January 2022.
    • Employers must be UK based and have had a payroll system in place as of 30 November 2021.

It is estimated that around 200,000 businesses will be eligible for the one-off hospitality and leisure grants which will be made available by local authorities in the next few weeks.

To qualify for the grants businesses must be solvent and offer in-person services, where the main service and activity takes place in a fixed rate-paying premises, in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors.

The amount of grant will be based on the rateable value of the premises. 

  • Businesses with a rateable value of £0-15,000 will get a grant of £2,667.
  • Those with a rateable value of £15,000-51,000 will get a grant of £4,000.
  • Where the rateable value is over £51,000 the business will get a grant of £6,000.

As the above support applies to England only the devolved administrations will receive £155 million of extra funding; £80 million for Scotland, £50 million for Wales and £25 million for Northern Ireland.

Further guidance is expected from the Department for Business Industry and Strategy about the final application and payment dates for the new grants.

Useful guides on this topic

COVID-19: Government support tracker
This tracker covers measures announced by the government to support individuals and businesses, as we get through COVID-19.

COVID-19: Taxation of Coronavirus support payments
This guide summarises the tax treatment of grants paid during the Coronavirus pandemic.

External links

HM Treasury news 

Policy paper COVID-19 economic support package 

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