Government announces new support for UK businesses

Date : 21 December 2021

The government’s regulatory response to the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been limited so far, with emphasis on rapid rollout of booster vaccinations instead.

However, the government recognizes that the new variant presents particular challenges for foodservice and hospitality businesses – anecdotal evidence suggests that many are already seeing a sharp slump in custom.

A new support package has now been announced, covering businesses in England. £1bn has been allocated for grants to businesses affected by Omicron.

£683m has been allocated for direct payments to foodservice and hospitality businesses. Payments are available as follows:

Rateable value: £0 – 15,000 £15 – 51,000 > £51,000
Grant available: £2,700 £4,000 £6,000

Payments are made available on a per-premises basis, so a chain with multiple outlets would be eligible for multiple payments.

A further £100m will be made available to top-up the Additional Restrictions Grant fund for local authorities. £30m will be added to the Culture Recovery Fund and £150m will be given to Devolved Administrations.

In addition, the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS) has been reintroduced for UK-based businesses with fewer than 250 employees. This will cover the cost of up to two weeks’ statutory sick pay per employee, paid in arrears.

More economic news and analysis

Sign up to our bulletin

Our round-up of the latest economic and political news, focused on FMCGs