Government announces £1bn support package for businesses affected by Omicron
The Chancellor has announced a £1bn support package for businesses hit hard by Omicron.
Businesses within the hospitality and leisure sectors in England will be able to claim one-off grants of up to £6,000.
It was recently revealed that hospitality businesses have seen a steep decline of up to 60% this month.
In addition, more than £100m discretionary funding will be available for local authorities to support other businesses affected by the Omicron variant.
Around 200,000 businesses will reportedly be eligible to claim business grants from the local authorities. It is said these grants will be available in the coming weeks.
These grants are similar to the monthly cash grants provided to businesses within the hospitality sector when they were forced to close earlier in the year.
A further £30m will be made available through the Culture Recovery Fund which will provide support for more cultural organisations in England, such as museums and theaters. The support is said to continue until March 2022.
The UK government has also said that HMRC is prepared to support businesses through the Time to Pay arrangement.
The Chancellor has reportedly asked HMRC to offer businesses within the hospitality and leisure sector an option of a short delay and payment in instalments.
Statutory sick pay rebate scheme
Following an increase in Covid-19 cases, the government has announced that statutory sick pay for coronavirus related absences will be covered for small and medium-sized businesses in the UK.
The government will reimburse businesses for the costs of statutory sick pay for coronavirus related absences, for up to two weeks per employee.
Businesses will be eligible from 21 December and claims can be made from mid-January.