New one-off lockdown grants to support businesses
Date published: 05 January 2021
Photo: Ascannio - stock.adobe.com
One-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property are available
Businesses in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors are to receive a one-off grant, worth up to £9,000.
This follows the Prime Minister’s announcement last night (4 January) that these businesses will be closed until at least February half-term in order to help control the virus.
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, across the UK.
The one-off top-ups will be granted to closed businesses as follows:
- £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
- £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
- £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000
A further £594 million is also being made available for local authorities and the devolved administrations to support other businesses not eligible for the grants, that might be affected by the restrictions.
Rochdale Council has said that it will update businesses once it has received details of the new support package from government.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “The new strain of the virus presents us all with a huge challenge - and whilst the vaccine is being rolled out, we have needed to tighten restrictions further.
“Throughout the pandemic we’ve taken swift action to protect lives and livelihoods and today we’re announcing a further cash injection to support businesses and jobs until the spring.
“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 new one-off grants come in addition to existing business support, including grants worth up to £3,000 for closed businesses, and up to £2,100 per month for impacted businesses once they reopen.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme scheme has already been extended to the end of April. The government will pay 80% of furloughed employees’ usual wages for hours they do not work, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
Businesses can also still apply for government backed loans until the end of March.
Responding, Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Chief Economist, said: “The Chancellor has once again moved swiftly to support businesses as circumstances change. It is sorely needed.
“More direct grants will provide some relief to eligible companies’ cashflow.
“Yet with businesses facing a third lockdown, there are other steps that can help provide a bridge to the all-important economic recovery, particularly those affected through supply chains.
“For some, demand has once again evaporated overnight, and in northern England some firms have been labouring under stop-start orders for months already.
“Therefore extending the job retention scheme to end of the second quarter would provide firms with a clear line of sight, aiding planning and investment.
“And removing the business rate relief cliff edge in April will provide much-needed breathing space, as will re-examining the case for VAT deferrals.
“With the vaccine rollout now underway, and increasing mass rapid testing, there really is a brighter future within reach. Maintaining steadfast support for firms during this painful period will help ensure the recovery is delayed for as short a time as possible.”
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