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Chancellor announces further financial support for businesses hit by Omicron - including grants for hospitality and leisure businesses

Published on: 23 December 2021

omicron support

The Chancellor has announced that additional support will be available for businesses which have been impacted by the spread of the new Omicron COVID variant. 
Canal boats and vessels are listed in the guidance and should therefore be eligible for the funding

The new bailout package consists of four elements:

  • Grants for hospitality and leisure businesses in England which pay business rates, worth up to £6,000 per premise. The Treasury has set aside £683m for these payments, which will be administered through local authorities and will be available in the coming weeks.
  • Further grants for businesses in England, worth £102m, intended to help businesses most in need, which will also be administered through local authorities on a discretionary basis.
  • The resumption of the statutory sick pay rebate scheme, which will reimburse employers in the UK with fewer than 250 workers for the cost of paying statutory sick pay for Covid-related absences for up to two weeks.
  • An extra £30m for arts organisations in the UK, paid through the culture recovery fund.


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


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


The resumption of the statutory sick pay rebate scheme will see employers able to make retrospective claims from mid-January. 


British Marine would advise its members to contact their local authority to discuss their eligibility for grants and further discretionary funding. A further support package has been announced for the Devolved Administrations and our members in other parts of the UK should also contact their local authority.