COVID-19: Additional Support in Response to Omicron Variant


This week the Government has announced additional support for businesses impacted by the Omicron variant:

  • Businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors in England are eligible for a one-off grant of up to £6,000 per premises.
  • The Government is providing a further £100 million to Local Authorities, enabling them to provide discretionary funding to businesses.  It is unclear which businesses will be able to apply for this funding; but we will learn more over the coming weeks.
  • The Government has re-introduced the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme, which will cover the cost of Statutory Sick Pay for Covid-related absences up to two weeks per employee, for businesses across the UK with less than 250 employees.
  • £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.
  • Over the course of the pandemic the UK Government has provided nearly £2 billion to support our vital cultural sector, with the original £1.57 billion round of the Culture Recovery Fund announced in July 2020.

We would remind clients of the existing support, including:

  • Business rates relief meaning that the majority of businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors will see a 75% reduction in their business rates bill during 2021/22 and a new 50% capped business rates relief next financial year
  • A 12.5% reduced rate of VAT for hospitality and tourism until the end of March
  • Businesses are protected from eviction if they are behind on their rent until March 2022
  • Access to finance for SMEs through the Recovery Loan Scheme until June
  • Bounce Back Loan repayment flexibility, with borrowers having the option to take a 6 month repayment holiday, three 6 month interest only periods or extend their loan to 10 years

Castletons Accountants

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