Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced extra support for the hospitality and leisure sectors in England in the run-up to Christmas.

One-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises for businesses in these sectors are being made available.

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

To support other businesses impacted by Omicron – such as those who supply the hospitality and leisure sectors – the government is also giving more than £100 million boost to the additional restrictions grant fund for local authorities in England.

The Treasury says £1bn of support is being provided in total.

This is made up of:

  • £683 million for grants for hospitality and leisure businesses in England
  • £102 million top-up for the additional restrictions grant for local authorities to support other businesses
  • An additional £30m for the cultural recovery fund to support theatres and museums
  • A statutory sick pay rebate scheme, so that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can recover costs for sick employees

Here is a little more information currently available on the support schemes announced today:

The first is the mandatory grant to be given by councils to businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors. The £683m announced for that today is new money.

Councils have existing schemes where businesses in hospitality and leisure (restaurants, bars, cinemas, theatres etc) can apply for the money and a business can apply for a maximum of £6,000 for each of their premises.

There is also an additional restrictions grant, with £102m available, which is also new money. This is for businesses outside the leisure and hospitality sectors that might still be affected by the pandemic and is given by councils at their own discretion.

This means that any business could apply for this money, though it’s largely intended for the suppliers of hospitality and leisure businesses.

Secondly, The statutory sick pay rebate scheme is available to any business with fewer than 250 employees.

The scheme will reimburse them for the cost of statutory sick pay for Covid-related absences, for up to two weeks per employee.

Firms will be eligible for the scheme from today and they will be able to make claims retrospectively from mid-January.

In addition, the £30m extra funding that is being made available through the culture recovery fund to support organisations such as theatres, orchestras and museums will run from the winter to March 2022.

This figure will build on nearly £240 million of cultural grant support already allocated this financial year or currently available for organisations to bid for, the Treasury says.

As always we will continue to update you with any supports schemes as we get further information.

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