Businesses in hospitality and leisure will get up to £6,000 each if they’re eligible for the grants announced by the Chancellor today (Tuesday).
However, businesses have hit back and told The Telegraph the funds are ‘inadequate’ and do not go far enough for supporting companies who would have lost tens of thousands of pounds this December alone.
The government’s bailout package, which is worth one billion pounds in total, will be given to businesses who have lost money since the surge of Omicron.
The money is mainly for firms in the leisure and hospitality sector, who have had bookings cancelled and a drop in customers since the implementation of Plan B – yet still continue to pay staff, rent and business rates.
Rishi Sunak also said the government would help some companies with the cost of sick pay for Covid-related absences.
Theatre and arts funding
This is a u-turn from Mr Sunak as he had earlier insisted there was enough support in place to support businesses in trouble.
Mr Sunak also announced an extra £30 million to help theatres and museums, and said the funds were in recognition of the struggle businesses had faced ahead of Christmas.
The Chancellor did not answer questions of whether there would be any further assistance if any more restrictions were announced, in the midst of the rapid spread of Omicron.
So far during the pandemic, the Treasury has provided more than £400bn to support workers and companies during the pandemic.
UKHospitality says a large number of firms have lost up to 60 percent of business this month, which is usually when takings are at their highest.
Yesterday (Monday) saw 91,743 Covid cases reported across the UK, making it the second highest daily total on record.
Matthew Taylor is chief executive of the NHSConfederation. He said November saw record levels of 999 contacts and ambulance call-outs:
“Currently, hospitals in England are seeing over 800 admissions with coronavirus every day and around a fifth of national intensive care beds are occupied by people with the disease. On top of that, bed occupancy generally is around 93%. Also, staff sickness levels across the NHS are rising, particularly in London. This is all happening before January which tends to be the busiest month for frontline NHS services. “
His advice for the public during this time: “The best thing the public can do is to continue to behave in ways that will keep themselves and others safe, including taking up the offer of a vaccine or booster if they are eligible.”