Specialist Cumbrian hospitality accountants welcome £1 billion in support for businesses

A leading accountancy firm in Cumbria says the Chancellor’s £1 billion support package will provide business owners reassurance and comfort over the Christmas period.

Businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors in England will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises, plus more than £100 million discretionary funding will be available for local authorities to support other businesses. The Government also announced they will cover the cost of Statutory Sick Pay for Coronavirus related absences for small and medium-sized employers across the UK.

Peter Ellwood, managing partner at robinson+co said: “This is welcome news for all of our hospitality and leisure clients, and the wider sectors. Many of our clients have been experiencing cancellations left, right and centre in the last couple of weeks as COVID infections rise, businesses have also been hit with staff absences due to self-isolation.

“At what is one of their most profitable seasons of the year, many pubs and restaurants have seen reduced footfall as people are becoming increasingly wary of further spikes in covid infections.

The Government seem to be on the brink of announcing new covid measures post-Christmas, with many left thinking that these measures will strike another blow to hospitality with the closure of hospitality indoors and possibly more. Now hospitality is in limbo, do they fully stock up for the festive period or do they look to batten down the hatches?”

Hospitality UK reported that some businesses have lost 40-60% of their December trade.

Around 200,000 businesses will be eligible for these support grants which will be available in the coming weeks, from local authorities.

Peter added: “Our clients, their friends in the industry and suppliers have the reassurance that help is on its way as we fast approach the Christmas holidays. This package of support presents business owners with some comfort, as the Omicron variant continues to cast uncertainty.”

To support other businesses impacted by Omicron – such as those who supply the hospitality and leisure sectors – the government is also giving a more than £100 million boost to the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) fund for local authorities in England.

Local authorities will have the discretion to allocate this funding to businesses most in need. The ARG top-up will be prioritised for those local authorities that have distributed most of their existing allocation.



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