BUSINESSES most impacted by the Omicron Covid-19 variant will be able to tap into a multimillion-pound support package as the Government delivers funding to councils.

Firms in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sector, many of which have seen a decline in footfall and increased cancellations due to the Omicron variant, will be able to apply for one-off grants of up to £6,000 per premises depending on rateable value; businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or above: £6,000, businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000: £4,000, businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or below: £2,667.

More than £100 million worth of discretionary funding is also being made available for local authorities to support other businesses.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: "All through the pandemic, we have stood by the side of business to ensure they are supported at every stage.

"The spread of the Omicron variant is presenting new challenges, particularly for the hospitality and leisure sectors, so it’s only right that we are stepping up with an urgent £1 billion support package.

"I urge businesses to come forward, engage with their local council and tap into these cash grants, which will help to cover costs and protect jobs as we double down on our efforts to get boosted and defeat this virus."

The grant funding forms part of a £1 billion support package which includes an additional £30 million for the Culture Recovery Fund and reintroducing the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme - reimbursing eligible businesses for the cost of Statutory Sick Pay for Covid-related absences.

Businesses are encouraged to apply to their council for grant funding which will be administered over the coming weeks. Local authorities will have discretion to allocate the funding to businesses most in need.

Other businesses impacted by Omicron, such as those that supply the hospitality and leisure sectors as well as personal care services, are also able to apply for grants, with the Government allocating more than £100 million to the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) fund for local authorities in England.