Companies affected by Covid are entitled to a new state support program


    The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has reported additional aid for the hospitality and leisure sectors in England after days of urgent lobbying by MPs, companies and industry representatives.

    The funding includes one-time grants of up to £ 6,000 per location to businesses in the affected sectors in England that the Treasury Department expects to be managed by local authorities and available in the coming weeks.

    The government also intends to use taxpayers’ money to cover the cost of statutory sick pay for Covid-related absences for businesses with fewer than 250 employees.

    Cultural organizations in England can also access an additional £ 30 million through the Culture Restoration Fund in the winter, the Treasury said.

    Business revenues have plummeted due to the limited Christmas festivities

    Mr. Sunak’s announcement follows crisis talks with business leaders after he canceled a government business trip to California. Company revenues have plummeted as the Christmas festivities have been scaled back for fear of Omicron’s spread.

    Commenting on the new funding, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “With the rise in Omicron cases, people are rightly becoming more cautious about their lives, affecting our hospitality, leisure and cultural sectors during what is usually the busiest time in the world.

    «So we’re taking immediate action to give these industries an additional £ 1 billion in grants and reintroduce our statutory sick pay rebate program.»

    The decentralized administrations will receive around £ 150 million through the Barnett formula under the announced support, the department added. This includes approximately £ 80m for the Scottish Government, £ 50m for the Welsh Government and £ 25m for the Northern Irish Executive.

    Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UK Hospitality, said: «This is a generous package that builds on existing hospitality support measures to provide an immediate emergency cash injection to those companies that through no fault of their own have destroyed their most valuable trading time.»

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