Following the rapid spread of the COVID-19 variant, Omicron, businesses facing another difficult financial period have been offered a financial lifeline by the Chancellor before Christmas.
On Tuesday 21st December, Rishi Sunak announced a £1bn package of business support measures to help businesses – predominantly those in retail, leisure, and hospitality – weather the recent Omicron storm.
The Chancellor’s last-minute funding announcement before the Christmas period was broadly welcomed by most, although many SMEs and businesses across the retail, leisure, and hospitality sectors have stated that the grants will not go far enough.
Owners of pubs, clubs, restaurants, and theatres believe additional measures – such as the reinstatement of the furlough scheme and an extension to business rates and VAT relief – will be needed to future-proof businesses through 2022.
What support is available?
- one-off cash grants of up to £6,000 per premises for each business in the hospitality and leisure sector
- £30m top up to the Cultural Recovery Fund, which supports institutions such as museums and theatres
- reintroduction of the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme for small- and medium-sized businesses, which helps them obtain compensation for the cost of employee sick pay
It is hoped that such measures will reinforce the existing package of business support currently available and help businesses remain afloat as we enter 2022.
If you would like further advice about COVID-19 business support, or if you are worried about your personal or business’ finances, get in touch with our dedicated team today.