Government support for businesses in 2022

On 21 December 2021, Rishi Sunak announced a £1 billion fund to help businesses hit by the rise in COVID-19 cases.

Mr Sunak described these grants as ‘generous’. Time will tell whether he’s correct or whether further support measures will be required for businesses in the coming weeks.

Omicron Hospitality and Leisure grant

The leisure, hospitality and tourism industry in particular has been significantly impacted by the latest rise in coronavirus cases. Although no official restrictions have been put in place by the Government, the spread of the Omicron variant has caused a significant reduction in footfall and a deluge of cancellations for the industry.

Pubs, restaurants, cinemas and theatres can apply for an Omicron Hospitality and Leisure grant for each of their premises. The amount of grant paid will be dependant on the premises’ rateable value (RV) as below:

  • £15,000 or under: £2,667 grant
  • Over £15,000 but less than £51,000: £4,000 grant
  • £51,000 or over: £6,000 grant

As per previous grants, businesses will need to apply through their local council:

The scheme will close to new applications on 28 February 2022.

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme

For employers with fewer than 250 employees, the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme (SSPRS) is being re-introduced so that employers can claim back the cost of paying sick pay to employees who are affected by COVID-19. The SSPRS will refund small and medium-sized employers’ COVID-related SSP costs for up to two weeks per employee. This two-week limit will be reset so an employer will be able to claim up to two weeks per employee regardless of whether they have claimed under the previous scheme for that employee. This scheme is expected to be available from mid-January 2022.

Culture Recovery Fund

Further funding of £30 million will be made available through the Culture Recovery Fund to support organisations such as theatres, orchestras and museums through the winter. The further funding will be available until March 2022 and details on how organisations can access funding will be set out in due course.

VAT rate reduction

The VAT rate reduction from 20% to 5% on many aspects of accommodation, food, drink (excluding alcohol) and attractions increased from 5% to 12.5% on 1 October 2021. It is due to revert back to 20% on 1 April 2022, but an extension to this could be one of the many things under consideration by the Government.

If you have any questions on the above schemes, please get in touch with one of our team on 01903 234094.

A version of this blog originally appeared on the website of PrimeGlobal member firm, Larking Gowen.