By Alex Glenn • 21 December 2021 • 15:34
Sunak unveils bailout grants for pubs and restaurants hit by Covid. The hospitality industry has been calling on the government for help as restaurants, pubs and music venues have been hit by the spread of the omicron variant and a so-called “stealth lockdown.”
Businesses will be able to receive a one-off grant worth up to £6,000 per premises. The total bailout fund announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak comes to £1 billion.
Sunak commented: “We recognise that the spread of the Omicron variant means businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors are facing huge uncertainty, at a crucial time.
“So we’re stepping in with £1 billion of support, including a new grant scheme, the reintroduction of the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme and further funding released through the Culture Recovery Fund.
“Ultimately the best thing we can do to support businesses is to get the virus under control, so I urge everyone to Get Boosted Now.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson commented on the rising number of omicron cases. He said: “With the surge in Omicron cases, people are rightly exercising more caution as they go about their lives, which is impacting our hospitality, leisure and cultural sectors at what is typically the busiest time of the year.
“That’s why we’re taking immediate action to help with an extra £1 billion in grants to these industries and reintroducing our Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme.
“I urge people across the country to please get boosted now to secure vital protection for yourselves, your loved ones and your communities.”
According to the government: “At what is often their most profitable time of year, many pubs and restaurants have seen cancellations and reduced footfall as people have responded to the rise in cases ahead of Christmas, with Hospitality UK reporting that many businesses have lost 40-60% of their December trade, often their most profitable month.
“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.”
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Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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