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 on Monday night that these businesses – with the exception of key retailers such as pet shops ¬- 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 more than 600,000 business properties, worth £4bn in total across the UK.
The 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.”
A further £594m is also being made available for local authorities and the devolved administrations to support other businesses not eligible for the grants, but which might be affected by the restrictions. Businesses should apply to their local councils.
The new one-off grants come in addition to billions in 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 government has also provided 100% business rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, £1.1bn existing discretionary funding for local authorities, has extended the furlough scheme to April and 100% government backed loans until March.
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
> Any business that is legally required to close and which cannot operate effectively remotely, is eligible for a grant.