Businesses given £100m fund to help cope with Covid cancellations

People have been urged to defer their work Christmas parties this year amidst a rise in cases of the Omicron variant.

Businesses given £100m fund to help cope with Covid cancellations iStock

Hospitality businesses eligible for support across Scotland are to be given £66m to help them cope with cancellations over the festive period due to the Omicron variant.

It is part of a £100m package of support outlined by the Scottish Government.

A breakdown of the funding being allocated was set out by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Friday.

As well as the £66m for hospitality, £20m will go towards the culture sector, £8m for food and drink supply businesses, including wholesalers.

Meanwhile, there will be £3m allocated to help support the wedding sector and £3m for the worst affected businesses in the tourism sector, including international inbound tour operators.

Final details of the funding available and how to apply is being determined in discussion with business organisations and will be published next week.

Eligible hospitality businesses will be contacted directly by their local authorities and will not need to apply for support.

Guidance has also been published to enable businesses to take reasonable measures to limit the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.

The First Minister said that significant support is being provided, but acknowledged that it will not fully compensate for the impact of Omicron.

She said: “The steps we are asking people to take are already having a severe economic impact, particularly for sectors like hospitality and culture, which have been badly affected by previous waves of Covid and were hoping for a better Christmas period this year.

“This is why we have found £100m to help businesses in those sectors.

“The support we’re providing is significant – but we know it won’t fully compensate for the impact of Omicron.

“Business now needs the type and scale of financial support that was available earlier in the pandemic and that can only come from the UK Government – which has borrowing powers that the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish governments do not.”

The First Minister added: “The best way to support business sustainably, is to get the virus back under control.

“Please get your boosters and stay at home as much as possible just now.”

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