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The UK government has begun delivering £700 million of funding for local authorities in England to provide additional financial support and grants to businesses affected by the Omicron Covid-19 variant.
The funding will allow for local councils to begin providing the dedicated support for the hospitality and leisure sector, which has seen decreased footfall and high levels of cancellations in recent weeks due to the spread of the Omicron variant of the virus. The scheme, announced by the Chancellor in December 2021, will allow businesses in these sectors to access a one-off grant of up to £6,000 per premises.
A further £100 million will also be provided to local authorities to continue to provide discretionary grant funding via schemes previously established. These schemes, in addition to the reintroduction of the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme and extension of the Culture Recovery Fund, will see £1 billion of support for businesses in the wake of the Omicron variant spread.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said:
“The spread of the Omicron variant is presenting new challenges, particularly for the hospitality and leisure sectors, so it’s only right that we are stepping up with an urgent £1 billion support package.
“I urge businesses to come forward, engage with their local council and tap into these cash grants, which will help to cover costs and protect jobs as we double down on our efforts to get boosted and defeat this virus.”
Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer said:
We know the Omicron variant has hit our hospitality and leisure businesses – which is why, as we have throughout the pandemic, we stepped in to help.
“From today, local councils will be able to distribute this £1 billion package of support to the hundreds of thousands of pubs, restaurants and theatres in need – protecting the millions of people they employ.”
Businesses will be able to apply to their local authority to access the grant funding in the coming weeks.
Stockport Council are working out the details of new Covid related business grant schemes based on the government guidance that has just been released to them. Full details of eligibility, application processes and requirements, as well as grant payment levels, will be published to the council’s coronavirus support web pages in the coming days.
Stockport Council is continuing to accept applications for the Additional Restrictions Grant in line with the government’s announcement on the 21st December 2021. Applications received after this date will be subject to further review against the new detailed guidance.
Please check the Council’s Coronavirus (Covid-19) support for businesses and employers web pages regularly to see the latest information available about the grant support available and how to access it.