£1 billion in support for businesses impacted by Omicron across the UK

Additional support will be available for businesses who have been impacted by the Omicron variant, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak has announced.

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 to support other businesses

Government will also cover 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

At what is often their most profitable time of year, many pubs and restaurants have seen cancellations and reduced footfall as people have responded to the rise in cases ahead of Christmas, with Hospitality UK reporting that many businesses have lost 40-60% of their December trade, often their most profitable month.

Around 200,000 businesses will be eligible for business grants which will be administered by local authorities and will be available in the coming weeks.

Given the uncertain situation faced by businesses, the government has chosen to provide the grants, which are equivalent to the monthly cash grants provided to hospitality businesses when they were fully closed earlier this year, despite businesses now being still able to trade.

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