The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced on Tuesday that he will provide the hospitality and leisure sectors with a £1bn additional financial support package.
The Treasury will also provide £30m to top up the Cultural Recovery Fund for theatres and museums.
The Treasury will also reintroduce Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme which will help to benefit SMEs in claiming compensation for employees sick pay.
Sunak said he is taking these measures as the situation is “very difficult, especially for those in the hospitality industry” as Omicron has crippled the hospitality sector as there has been mass cancellations.
The Chancellor said, “I know the current situation is very difficult especially for those in the hospitality industry so today we are announcing three new measures to help people and businesses.
“Firstly we are announcing a billion pounds in financial grant support which means eligible hospitality companies will be able to claim a cash grant worth up to £6,000.”
On the introduction of sick pay Sunak said, “And lastly, we are reintroducing our statutory sick pay rebate scheme so that small and medium sized companies can claim compensation from the government for the cost of sick pay for their employees.
“Taken together, I am confident that these measures will help hundreds of thousands of businesses and the millions of people that they employ.”
The Chancellor added, “Now, of course I will always respond proportionately and appropriately to the situation that we face, people can have confidence in that, but where we are now we have responded I think generously today.
“The grants that I’ve outlined, up to £6,000, are comparable to the grants that we provided for hospitality businesses when they were completely closed earlier this year – so there is a benchmark for you.”
The Hospitality and tourism sectors will benefit from the reduced rate of VAT which will continue until spring 2022.
In the coming weeks some 200,000 businesses will be eligible for business grants which will be provided by local authorities.