FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced how £107 million of targeted funding is being allocated to support businesses impacted by the spread of the Omicron variant.
The funding, which follows an initial £100 million lifeline package, means the Scottish Government has now allocated £207 million of the £375 million committed to business support. Following discussions with stakeholders, this latest package is targeted at some of the hardest hit sectors and payments will start in the new year.
Business support is being provided to mitigate the impact of public health measures introduced to limit the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. Proportionate restrictions have been implemented for at least three weeks to allow immunity from the accelerated booster vaccination programme to take effect.
Decisions on the allocation of the remaining £168 million will be confirmed following consultation with affected sectors on how it can best be targeted
The latest £107 million support package is broken down into:
- £32 million more for hospitality and leisure businesses
- £10 million targeting parts of the hospitality industry most severely affected by requirement for table service
- £5 million targeted support for nightclubs now required to close
- £27 million for culture, due to impact of physical distancing and caps on attendance
- £17 million for events, due to impact of physical distancing and caps on attendance
- £16 million for existing public transport COVID-19 support schemes to recognise the impact on fare revenue
Final details of the funding available for each sector is being determined in discussion with business and sector organisations and will be published as soon as possible.
Hospitality businesses will be contacted by their local authority to access top up funding through the December and January Business Top Up.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“We recognise that the public health measures necessary to limit the spread of Omicron have had a severe economic impact, especially for sectors like hospitality and culture which would normally be experiencing their busiest trading period.
“We will be providing a total of £375 million for affected businesses and continue to press the UK Government for more comprehensive support, akin to what was provided earlier in the pandemic. We know this funding won’t cover all losses but it is to compensate for cancellations and ensure businesses can survive the winter period and be ready to trade fully in the new year.
“The best way to support business sustainably is get the virus back under control. Please get your boosters and stay at home as much as possible just now.”
The first £100 million package of support was announced on 17 December. Further details of the support available to businesses can be found here.