Keighley and Ilkley’s MP has welcomed the announcement of a significant package of financial support for businesses affected due the new Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Mr. Moore has been lobbying the Chancellor Rishi Sunak for additional financial support in recent days.
Although there are few legal restrictions in place across the UK, many pubs, restaurants, theatres and other cultural venues are suffering due to a lack of footfall during what would normally be one of the busiest times of year, as people stay away to protect their loved ones during the vital Christmas period.
The new variant of COVID-19 – Omicron – is highly infectious, with the government urging everyone to get boosted for additional protection against catching the virus.
The new support package will provide one-off grants of up to £6,000 for local hospitality and leisure businesses, dependent on business rate valuation. The grants are more generous than those provided last year.
Businesses will also be able to claim the cost of Statutory Sick Pay from the government for workers isolating due to COVID-19.
The government is also providing a £30m top up to the Cultural Recovery Fund, to provide additional funding to our cherished theatres, museums and heritage sites, and the thousands of people who work in them. Dozens of cultural institutions across Keighley and Ilkley have already benefited from the fund, including the Ilkley Cinema, The Picture House in Keighley, and the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway.
Robbie Moore MP said “I know from talking to many over the last week that so many of our pubs, restaurants and theatres are really struggling. It’s one of the key reasons I voted against Plan B last week, and since then I’ve been lobbying the Chancellor Rishi Sunak for more support.
I’m really pleased with the additional package of support – building on the tens of thousands already provided – to help our local businesses get through this latest challenge.
We all need to Get Boosted Now, as two doses of the vaccine does not give you enough protection against catching Omicron. I’ve been boosted, and you should too, to get protection for you, your loved ones and our community.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “We recognise that the spread of the Omicron variant means businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors are facing huge uncertainty, at a crucial time.
So 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.
Ultimately the best thing we can do to support businesses is to get the virus under control, so I urge everyone to Get Boosted Now.”