The Government is introducing a new grant scheme to support businesses that are experiencing difficulties because of the Omicron variant.
Additional Restrictions Grant
The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) will also be topped up so local authorities (LAs) can continue to use their discretion to support other businesses in their area, based on local economic need. This is on top of the £250 million of previously allocated funding that remains with local authorities
Hospitality and Leisure
Recognising that the rise of the Omicron variant means some businesses are likely to struggle over the coming weeks, the government is providing one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises for businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors in England.
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.
Please note, although local authorities will be distributing funds, they are still awaiting information from Government so are unable to advise further at this time.
Sickness due to Covid-19
As increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases means more workers taking time off work, the government is also reintroducing the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS).
The SSPRS will help small and medium-sized employers, this means those with fewer than 250 employees – by reimbursing them for the cost of Statutory Sick Pay for Covid-related absences, for up to 2 weeks per employee.
Firms will be eligible for the scheme from today (21st December 2021) and they will be able to make claims retrospectively from mid-January.
As always, we endeavour to keep you as up to date as possible with all the information received.
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