£1bn pledge for Omicron-hit businesses

Hospitality and leisure businesses in England that are being hit by a spike in COVID-19 cases will be eligible for a new £1 billion support package.

Eligible businesses will be entitled to one-off grants of up to £6,000, while local authorities will get over £100 million to support other businesses at their own discretion.

At what is often their busiest period of the year, many pubs and restaurants have experienced reduced footfall and 40-60% of their December trade.

Customer confidence has been severely dented as the Omicron variant causes COVID-19 cases to surge ahead of Christmas, according to Hospitality UK.

Shevaun Haviland, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

"This additional grant funding for hospitality and leisure businesses will provide some much-needed support in the face of this increasingly difficult trading period.

"While these measures are a positive starting point, if restrictions persist or are tightened further, then we would need to see a wider support package, equal to the scale of any new measures, put in place."

Talk to us about accessing the Government's support package.

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed