Sunak reveals support packages in response to Omicron surge

Chancellor of the exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has unveiled a support package worth £1bn for sectors set to be the hardest hit by the recent surge in the Omicron variant. 

Eligible businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors in England can claim a grant of up to £6,000 per premise to assist them with the inevitable loss of income following the Government’s latest restrictions as they aim to reduce the number of infections while they increase their vital booster vaccination programme. 

There will be more than £100m in “discretionary funding” made available to local authorities to help other sectors, though at this time we don’t know how eligibility is decided. 

These additional measures will reinforce the existing business support packages which include: business rates relief, a 12.5% reduced rate of VAT, the £1.5bn Covid Additional Relief Fund, business protection, access to finance and bounce back loan repayment flexibility. 

There has been no mention of a review of the Furlough and Job Retention Schemes. 

The Government has also announced that it will cover the cost of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for Covid related illnesses for SME’s across the UK, as well as issuing £30m further funding through the Culture Recovery Fund, enabling cultural organisations in England to apply for support during the winter. 

The new package will be available to around 200,000 businesses in the coming weeks and administered through local authorities. 

We, at Ascendis, are on hand to help our clients navigate the small print to help them understand what they are entitled to. For more help and assistance, please contact us today.