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New Financial Support announced for Businesses in response to Omicron

We summarise for you the support that has been announced and what support is still available

Published on in Blog, Business Support, Coronavirus, East Sussex & News

The Government has announced new financial support for all businesses, and particularly those in the leisure, hospitality, and cultural sectors.

Although the support has been announced, we are still awaiting full details on how these new measures will work, including who will receive it and how much, but it is likely to be similar to much of the support we have seen throughout the pandemic.

As with previous grant support, the one-off grants and Additional Restrictions Grants will be administered by local authorities, which in this case means your local District or Borough Council. The Government has already indicated that grants will be available in the coming weeks rather than immediately, and local councils will be working hard to ensure that these are available to local businesses as soon as possible.

Please keep an eye on the relevant pages for your local council for updates:

Business East Sussex is here to help your business through the latest disruption caused by Omicron. It is our job to know what is available and to help find best option for you and your business. Whether your business is struggling due to Covid-19 disruption, or your are looking for some help to support growth, contact the team today on 01273 335878 or by email at info@businesseastsussex.org.uk.

New Support:

One-off grants of up to £6,000

The Government has announced one-off grants of up to £6,000 per business premises for businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors. These will be administered by local authorities (please see above) and are likely to be available in January.

Funding boost for Additional Restrictions Grants (ARG)

A boost in the discretionary ARG funding was also announced by government. This scheme allows local authorities to target this financial support at businesses that are most in need. Because of the discretionary nature of this grant and the different needs and challenges of each area, it may differ from council to council.

Some local authorities still have schemes open from the original round of funding which you can apply to now, new schemes are likely to be available in January.

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS)

As part of the measures announced, the government is relaunching the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS). The scheme reimburses small and medium sized employers the cost of Statutory Sick Pay for Covid-19 related absences, for up to two weeks per employee.

Businesses are eligible from today (21/12/21) and will be able to make claims retrospectively from mid-January.

Extension to the Culture Recovery Fund

The Culture Recovery Fund has been extended through winter to March 2022. Administered by the Arts Council, cultural businesses and organisations can apply for emergency funding to help them through the disruption caused by Covid-19 and the Omicron variant.

Find Out More – Culture Recovery Fund

Existing Support:

The Recovery Loan Scheme

The Recovery Loan Scheme is designed to support businesses to recover from the pandemic. Under the scheme the government wholly or partly guarantees your loan to your lender, and allows businesses to borrow up to £10 million pounds, although this will drop to £2 million from 1st January 2022.

Find Out More – The Recovery Loan Scheme

VAT and Business Rates Relief for hospitality and tourism

The majority of businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors will benefit from business rates relief of 75% in this financial year and 50% next financial year. Businesses in hospitality and tourism will continue to benefit from a 12.5% reduced rate of VAT.

Eviction moratorium for business who fall behind on rent

Businesses will continue to be protected from the threat of eviction if they have fallen behind on rent. The moratorium is currently due to expire in March 2022.

HMRC Time to Pay

Businesses that have fallen behind in paying tax to HMRC can make a ‘Time to Pay’ arrangement and pay the debt in manageable instalments. If you have fallen behind on tax payments it is best to engage with HRMC as early as possible.

Find Out More – HMRC Time to Pay

‘Pay As You Grow’ Bounce Back Loan Repayment Flexibility

Businesses can still make use of the flexible payment options for their Bounce Back Loans under ‘Pay As You Grow’. These include the option to:

  • Request an extension of their loan term to 10 years from 6 years, at the same fixed interest rate of 2.5%
  • Reduce monthly repayments for 6 months by only paying the interest – this option is available up to 3 times during the Bounce Back Loan term
  • Take a repayment holiday for up to 6 months

Find Out More – ‘Pay As You Grow’