£1bn in support for businesses impacted by Omicron across the UK

  • Mark Morton
  • 21 December 2021 15:22

Additional support will be available for businesses who have been impacted by the Omicron variant, the Chancellor has announced.

Big Ben in autumn

The funding consists of:

  • £683m for targeted grants for hospitality and leisure businesses in England;
  • £102m top-up for the Additional Restrictions Grant;
  • £30m for the Culture Recovery Fund; and
  • £154m of Barnett funding covering all three above for the devolved administrations.


Funding for the SSP Rebate scheme will be additional to these amounts

Businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors in England will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises, with more than £100m discretionary funding being made available for local authorities to support other businesses.

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.

The Government will also cover the cost of SSP for Covid-related absences for small and medium-sized employers across the UK, those with fewer than 250 employees, by reimbursing them for the cost of SSP for Covid-related absences, for up to two weeks per employee.

Firms will be eligible for the scheme from 21 December 2021 and will be able to make claims retrospectively from mid-January.

To support other businesses impacted by Omicron, such as those who supply the hospitality and leisure sectors, the Government is also giving a more than £100m boost to the Additional Restrictions Grant fund for local authorities in England.

To provide continued support to the cultural sector, £30 million further funding will be made available through the Culture Recovery Fund to support organisations such as theatres, orchestras and museums through the winter to March 2022.

HMRC have also been asked to offer businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors the option of a short delay, and payment in instalments, on a case by case basis, as part of the more general availability of Time to Pay arrangements.

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