Financial support payments for businesses affected by Omicron will start in the new year – check if you qualify
Pubs, bars and restaurants lost on average Â£ 10,335 in the week leading up to Christmas, according to new figures from industry body UKHospitality.
Data shows that on Christmas Day alone, revenue was down 60% from 2019 as new work from home instructions and advice to deal with the rise of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 had a ripple effect on the festive celebrations.
However, Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced how Â£ 107million is allocated to support companies impacted by the distribution of the Omicron variant. The funding, which follows an initial Â£ 100million bailout, means the Scottish government has now allocated Â£ 207million of the Â£ 375million pledged for business support.
Following discussions with stakeholders, this latest package targets some of the hardest hit sectors and payments will start in the new year.
Decisions on the allocation of the remaining 168 million pounds will be confirmed after consultation with the sectors concerned on how best to target them.
The latest Â£ 107million aid package breaks down into:
- Â£ 32million more for hospitality and leisure businesses
- Â£ 10million targeting sectors of the hospitality industry most severely affected by the need for table service
- Targeted Â£ 5million support for nightclubs must now close
- Â£ 27million for culture, due to impact of physical distancing and attendance caps
- Â£ 17million for events, due to impact of physical distancing and attendance caps
- Â£ 16million for existing public transport COVID-19 support programs to recognize impact on fare revenue
the Scottish government said the latest details of the funding available for each sector are being determined in discussion with businesses and industry organizations and will be released as soon as possible.
Hotel companies will be contacted by their local authority to access additional funding via the Business Top Up in December and January.
Nicola Sturgeon said: âWe recognize that the public health measures necessary to limit the spread of Omicron have had a serious economic impact, especially for sectors like hospitality and culture which would normally experience their busiest commercial period. .
‘We will provide a total of Â£ 375million to affected businesses and continue to press the UK government for more comprehensive support, similar to what was provided earlier in the pandemic. We know this funding will not cover all losses, but it serves to compensate for cancellations and to ensure that businesses can survive the winter period and be ready to fully trade into the new year.
âThe best way to sustain businesses is to take back control of the virus. Please get your boosters and stay home as much as possible right now. “
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Am I eligible for support?
Eligible hotel businesses that have previously received support through the Strategic Business Fund (SFBF) will receive a top-up payment and will be contacted directly by their local authority.
The December & January Business Support Top-Up – Hospitality will provide support to businesses in the hospitality industry that have lost critical bookings during this key business period where they are recorded as one of the following:
- public houses
- other approved premises classified as hotels
- hotels with bars and restaurants
Any business not classified in any of the above categories will not be eligible for this funding.
Rewards are awarded based on the primary function of the business.
It is up to a local authority to determine whether a business fits the description and additional information may be requested, if necessary, to determine the eligibility of applications.
Comprehensive advice and eligibility for the hospitality industry is available on the Scottish Government website here.
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