Kelly BurtonView Profile
Another year, another round of support for businesses still dealing with the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, specifically, the extremely transmissible Omicron variant. To assist businesses once again feeling the pinch from this latest wave of infections, Chancellor Rishi Sunak recently announced a £1 billion business support fund.
Omicron impacts hospitality and leisure sectors
Cases skyrocketed over the Christmas period, forcing the government to implement ‘Plan B’ to avoid pressure on the NHS. With these fresh restrictions, businesses found themselves under another round of stress, with the hospitality and leisure sectors feeling the bite as cautious customers cancelled bookings en masse. Some businesses and venues even had to close due to staff shortages.
“With the surge in Omicron cases, people are rightly exercising more caution as they go about their lives, which is impacting our hospitality, leisure and cultural sectors at what is typically the busiest time of the year.”Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
Affected businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors can apply for a portion of this new £1 billion business support fund, with grants available for up to £6,000 per premises. The government is assigning £683 million, with council-run funding schemes providing the rest.
Businesses outside these sectors can also apply for funding via the Additional Restrictions Grant, which has received an additional £102 million. The Statutory Sick Pay Rebate has returned, allowing businesses with fewer than 250 employees to claim for covid-related absences. Finally, £30 million has been assigned to the Culture Recovery Fund to help impacted arts organisations.
While restrictions vary across the devolved administrations, the government has provided additional funding to the Autumn Budget, assigning an extra £440 million to Scotland, £270 million to Wales, and £150 million to Northern Ireland.
This new support might seem small in scale compared to what was announced during the first lockdown, but the chancellor hasn’t ruled out more support should the situation change.
“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.”Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak.
With the Omicron variant causing a steep rise in coronavirus cases across the UK, the government has announced a £1 billion business support fund to help businesses, particularly those in the hospitality and leisure sectors affected by the increased infections, though other businesses can still apply. The devolved administrations, where restrictions vary, have also received additional funding. Depending on how the pandemic plays out, further support measures may still be announced.
If your business is struggling to recover following the latest wave of infections, or the pandemic has gradually worn it down, speak to us for free, impartial advice with no obligation. We are a firm of licensed and regulated insolvency practitioners, helping businesses and individuals across the UK since 2001. We can assess your circumstances and decide the best solution for you and your business, which could be raising additional funds, implementing a turnaround strategy through a formal repayment plan, or even closing the company altogether.