The Omicron variant has disrupted many sectors shortly before finances got back to a semblance of normality. The potential economic backlash has prompted Chancellor Rishi Sunak to create additional grants which he announced last week.
Mr Sunak commented: “We’re stepping in with £1 billion of support, including a new grant scheme, the reintroduction of the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme and further funding released through the Culture Recovery Fund.”
The discovery of the Omicron variant upset the fragile trust customers had rebuilt with the travel and leisure industries.
With many people cancelling their Christmas getaways and family get togethers, the hospitality and tourism sector across the globe has suffered greatly.
Having gotten so close to pre-pandemic levels in November, many business owners were distraught at the variants discovery, knowing the receding customer base that would soon follow.
Compounding the already problematic situation was the fact that this is often their most profitable season.
Hospitality UK reported that many business lost up to 60 percent of their December trade.
This was seen through the cancellation of restaurant reservations, reduced footfall and general public fear of being in enclosed spaces such as pubs.
However, Government has set aside £1billion of grants and an additional £100million in discretionary funding for local authorities to support businesses in their locality.
Businesses that fall under the hospitality and leisure sectors in England will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises.
The Government has also said that they will cover the cost of Statutory Sick Pay for Covid-related absences.
This unique type of relief will be solely dedicated to small and medium-sized employers in the UK.
In addition to this, £30million of funding will also be made available through the Culture Recovery Fund.
These grants have some similarities to the monthly cash grants provided to hospitality businesses when they could not operate at all due to restrictions.
The pandemic as a whole has changed the way industries think and treat cash inflow, with hospitality business net cash deposits rising by 40 percent.
Alongside this, small and medium-sized businesses in this sector, which were arguably the hardest hit of all, have increased their cash deposits by 79 percent.
The government also reported that 25 percent less insolvencies were reported in the hospitality sector when compared to pre-pandemic levels, although vacancies have shot up by 50 percent in the same time frame.