Chancellor Rishi Sunak has set out a £1bn fund to help businesses hit by the rise in Covid cases, including the leisure and hospitality sector.
The Chancellor revealed:
- Businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors in England will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises, plus more than £100 million discretionary funding will be made available for local authorities to support other businesses
- Government will also cover the cost of Statutory Sick Pay for Covid-related absences for small and medium-sized employers across the UK
- £30 million further funding will be made available through the Culture Recovery Fund, enabling more cultural organisations in England to apply for support during the winter
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.
Shevaun Haviland, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:
“These measures will provide some welcome respite to many of those businesses who have been hit hardest by the latest Covid measures.
“The Chancellor and his team have engaged with us in talks over the past week, considered the experiences of Chamber business communities and the proposals we put to them.
“We are pleased that the chancellor heard our call for additional grant funding for hospitality and leisure businesses, which will provide some much-needed support in the face of this increasingly difficult trading period. Clarity and speed will be needed to ensure that these grants are paid out swiftly to help these hard-pressed firms weather the next few weeks.
“Whilst these measures are a positive starting point, if restrictions persist or are tightened further,then we would need to see a wider support package, equal to the scale of any new measures, put in place.”