Lucy Allan MP has welcomed the Chancellor's announcement of £1 billion of support for the hospitality sector to protect against the impact of the omicron variant during this winter period.
The Treasury is providing one-off grants of up to £6,000 for eligible businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors, depending on rateable value:
- Businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or above: £6,000
- Businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000: £4,000
- Businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or below: £2,666
Given the uncertain situation, the Government has deliberately erred on the side of generosity to accommodate all eventualities over the next few weeks. These grants are the same size as the monthly cash grants we provided to hospitality businesses when they were fully closed earlier this year – whereas now they can continue to trade. These grants mean that the rent of 95 per cent of all small businesses premises in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors is fully covered, and will benefit around 200,000 properties in total.
Furthermore, the support package contains other measures to support business, including a further £100 million in new discretionary funding to local authorities to support other impacted businesses. Businesses not covered by grants should talk to Telford & Wrekin Council - who allocate funding on a case by case basis. This is on top of the approximate £250 million of Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) yet to be distributed to businesses, with 3 out of 4 local authorities having up to 40% of their allocation remaining.
Additionally, the Chancellor is making available an additional £30 million to support theatres, museums and other vital cultural institutions through the Culture Recovery Fund.
The Government will also reintroduce the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Rebate Scheme to help businesses cover employees who fall ill. As called for by the Federation of Small Businesses, this will help small and medium-sized businesses cover the cost of coronavirus-related sickness absences. The scheme means employers can apply for a cash rebate from the government which covers the cost of SSP for up to two weeks per employee.
Lucy Allan MP has welcomed these comprehensive measures designed to protect those businesses and cultural institutions most threatened by the uncertainty caused by the omicron variant.