Rishi Sunak new grants: Chancellor announces £6,000 grants for Covid-hit businesses

21 December 2021, 14:35 | Updated: 21 December 2021, 14:46

Heart reporter

By Heart reporter

What are Rishi Sunak's new hospitality grants? Here's what we know...

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Rishi Sunak has announced an additional £1billion in financial support for the hospitality and leisure sectors.

With government advice to limit socialising in the run up to Christmas, many businesses have seen their profits take a 40-60% dive.

And with reports of another lockdown coming imminently, the Chancellor has revealed one-off £6,000 grants will be available to 200,000 hospitality and leisure venues.

Rishi Sunak has announced new help for businesses
Rishi Sunak has announced new help for businesses. Picture: Alamy

'Eligible' hospitality and leisure companies can apply for the one-off grant as long as they can prove they have been 'impacted by Omicron'.

It is not yet clear how businesses will be asked to prove how they have been impacted or how they can apply.

Elsewhere in his announcement, Mr Sunak said the Statutory Sick Pay scheme would return for staff who have been forced to isolate due to the spread of Omicron.

This applies to small and medium-sized companies of less than 250 employees, with larger companies not eligible for the support.

Restaurants and bars can apply for a grant
Restaurants and bars can apply for a grant. Picture: Getty Images

Mr Sunak explained: "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 has also revealed a £30m top up to the cultural recovery fund to support institutions like theatres and museums.

Many hospitality venues have lost out on trade
Many hospitality venues have lost out on trade. Picture: Alamy

Boris Johnson added: "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 £1billion in grants to these industries and reintroducing our Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme."

This comes as many pubs and restaurants have been hit by huge cancellations amid fears over the spread of the new Omicron variant.

Office Christmas parties have also been scrapped, with people choosing to stay indoors ahead of December 25.

The PM recently refused to rule out stricter Covid measures, with ‘Step 2’ restrictions on the cards.