First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP announced how £107 million is being allocated to support businesses across North Ayrshire and Scotland impacted by the spread of the Omicron variant.
The funding follows on from an initial £100 million lifeline package and means the SNP 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 in North Ayrshire should be contacted by North Ayrshire Council to access top up funding through the December and January Business Top Up.
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“Obviously, the public health measures necessary to limit the spread of Omicron have had a severe impact on sectors like hospitality and culture and especially at this time of year.
“This funding won’t cover all losses but will help to compensate for cancellations and ensure businesses can survive the winter period .
“The SNP Government meanwhile continues to press the UK Tory Government for more comprehensive support, akin to what was provided earlier in the pandemic.
“If you want to help businesses and the NHS, please ensure you get your booster vaccination, try limit contact with others, take free lateral flow tests before socialising and insist your friends and family do too.”