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New lockdown grants unveiled to support business

As the UK enters its third national lockdown, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a £4bn funding package for businesses operating within the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

The one-off top up grants are worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the spring, following last night’s announcement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson that businesses within these sectors will be closed until at least the February half-term in an attempt to control the spread of Covid-19.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “This will help businesses to get through the months ahead – and crucially it will help sustain jobs, so workers can be ready to return when they are able to reopen.”

The Treasury claimed the latest support, along with previously-announced support including the furlough scheme, ‘provides them with certainty through the Spring period’.

The cash is provided on a per property basis to support businesses through the latest restrictions, and is expected to benefit over 600,000 business properties.

The funding is for closed businesses and is to be allocated based on the property’s rateable value.  It will provide £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under, £6,000 when the rateable value is between £15,000 and £51,000, and £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of more than £51,000.

A £594m discretionary fund is also being made available to support other impacted businesses.  This will be distributed by Local Authorities to support other businesses not eligible for the grants, that might be affected by the restrictions.

This comes in addition to the £1.1bn in further discretionary grant funding for Local Authorities, Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month and the extension of the furlough scheme.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021