December is the busiest and most profitable time of year for many hospitality businesses. In light of the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, I know many businesses across North Oxfordshire are facing uncertainty with cancellations and reduced footfall. I therefore welcome the Chancellor's announcement that £1billion worth of support is being made available to businesses during what will be a challenging winter.
- Firstly, businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors in England will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises. The government is also giving a £100 million boost to the discretionary Additional Restrictions Grant fund for local authorities to distribute in England.
- Secondly, the government will once again cover the cost of Statutory Sick Pay for Covid-related absences for small and medium-sized employers across the UK.
- Thirdly, £30 million further funding will be made available through the Culture Recovery Fund, enabling more cultural organisations in England to apply for support during the winter.
It is estimated that 200,000 businesses will be eligible for business grants which will be administered by local authorities and will be available in the coming weeks.
Some of my constituents who work in the hospitality sector have emailed me in recent days to express their concerns over last minute cancellations of bookings and I hope this announcement will offer some reassurance.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said:
“We recognise that the spread of the Omicron variant means businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors are facing huge uncertainty, at a crucial time.”
“So we’re stepping in with £1 billion of support, including a new grant scheme, the reintroduction of the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme and further funding released through the Culture Recovery Fund.”
“Ultimately the best thing we can do to support businesses is to get the virus under control, so I urge everyone to Get Boosted Now.”
You can read more about the support available here.