THE RUN-up to Christmas is such an important time for our local pubs and restaurants and I know how difficult the Omicron situation has been for the hospitality industry.
Since Covid first came into our lives, we’ve always stepped in to protect our much-loved high streets and the jobs they support.
And speaking to business leaders recently, it’s clear that hospitality firms across the country have been in need of further help.
We need to protect the nation’s health by getting boosted – and it’s also vital we protect our economic recovery.
That’s why we’ve introduced a new £1bn support package to help hundreds of thousands of pubs, restaurants, theatres – and the millions of people they employ.
Businesses in leisure and hospitality sectors across England can now claim new, one-off cash grants of up to £6,000, and we’re topping up local councils’ funding by £100m, so they can also support their local businesses like nightclubs, caterers, and those working in the wedding industry.
Getting the cash our locals need to carry them through.
We’re also making available £30 million to support theatres, museums and important cultural landmarks, along with helping small firms cover the costs of Sick Pay when an employee is off ill with covid.
But the measures I announced yesterday are not all we’re doing.
As part of our unprecedented £400billion support package to support jobs through the pandemic, tourism and hospitality businesses will continue to pay less VAT until March, and we’ve cut the business rates bill of retail, hospitality and leisure businesses by 75% – a tax cut worth £7bn.
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We have all been through a huge ordeal over the past two years, with countless stories of difficulties and loss; but also, thankfully, of selflessness and determination.
As we have done throughout the pandemic, this government will keep a close eye on the situation, and I will do whatever I can to protect jobs and businesses up and down the country, ensuring our British economy continues to thrive.
Together we will get through the difficult days ahead.
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