CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak has offered a £1 billion support package to businesses hit by Covid restrictions amid concerns over the "eye-wateringly high" transmission of the Omicron variant.
The Chancellor has come forward with additional help for the hospitality and leisure sectors in England following days of urgent lobbying from MPs, firms and industry officials. It includes one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises for businesses in the affected sectors in England, which the Treasury expects will be administered by local authorities and to be available in the coming weeks.
The Government also intends to use taxpayers' cash to cover the cost of statutory sick pay for Covidrelated absences for firms with fewer than 250 employees.
It comes after business leaders and politicians in Plymouth urged the Government to provide an emergency lifeline for the beleaguered leisure, culture, retail, hospitality and tourism sectors, as they are faced with what is being seen as a de facto Covid lockdown.
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