Chancellor announces new support packages for business impacted by the outbreak of the Omicrom variant.

Published on December 21, 2021 by Nick Donohue - Head of Tax

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak has today announced new support packages for business impacted by the outbreak of the Omicrom variant.

One off grants for the hospitality and leisure sector

Businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors in England will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises, also more than £100 million discretionary funding will be made available for local authorities to support other businesses.
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. Given the uncertain situation faced by businesses, the Government has chosen to provide grants which are equivalent to the monthly cash grants provided to hospitality businesses when they were fully closed earlier this year, despite businesses now being still able to trade.

The reintroduction of the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

As increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases means more workers taking time off work, the Government is also reintroducing the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS) for small and medium-sized employers across the UK.

The SSPRS will help small and medium-sized employers – those with fewer than 250 employees – by reimbursing them for the cost of Statutory Sick Pay for Covid-related absences, for up to 2 weeks per employee. Firms will be eligible for the scheme from today and they will be able to make claims retrospectively from mid-January.

Additional support to the cultural sector

To provide continued support to the cultural sector, £30 million further funding will be made available through the Culture Recovery Fund to support organisations such as theatres, orchestras and museums through the winter to March 2022.

Existing measures still in place

The measures announced today are in addition to the existing packages of business support already available including:
• business rates relief where the majority of businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors will see a 75% reduction in their business rates bill across the entire financial year and a new 50% capped business rates relief for the next financial year;
• a 12.5% reduced rate of VAT for hospitality and tourism until the end of March;
• the £1.5 billion Covid Additional Relief Fund for businesses that have not previously had business rates support;
• access to finance for SMEs through the Recovery Loan Scheme; and
• Bounce Back Loan repayment flexibility, with borrowers having the option to take a 6 month repayment holiday, three 6 month interest only periods or extend their loan to 10 years.

HMRC have also announced that they will support any business impacted by the coronavirus pandemic with their tax payments through its Time to Pay arrangement, with businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors in particular given the option of a short delay, and payment by instalments as part of this.

If you require any additional information on the above measures or have any questions on the support being offered by the Government during this time please email us or call us on 0161 608 0000.  We’d be happy to help.

 

Nick’s experience covers all major areas of taxation and during 2020 /21 Nick has led RPG’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic with interpretation and follow up of the various support packages provided by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, during what has been a very stressful time for many clients. Nick has also been instrumental in guiding clients through the conclusion of the UK’s Brexit deal, advising clients on the general tax and VAT implications of the final deal. Contact: NDonohue@rpg.co.uk

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