Following a rapid rise in COVID infections, from today 5th January 2021, England has been placed into a new lockdown. Following this the Chancellor has announced £4.6 billion of new lockdown grants to help support businesses forced to close. The lockdown in England is expected to last until March with a review not due to take place until the February half-term. There are also similar lockdowns across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The new financial support announced sees the introduction of a new one-off top-up grant for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property. The intention is to help businesses keep afloat until the Spring. This means that some 600,000 business premises across all nations of the UK will receive the one-off cash payment.
The amount businesses in England will be able to claim from their Local Authority for one-off top-ups depends on their rateable value:
- Small businesses with a rateable value of or below £15,000 will be able to claim £4,000.
- Medium-sized businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000 will be able to claim £6,000.
- Larger businesses with a rateable value over £51,000 will be able to claim £9,000.
The Chancellor also announced that another £594million will be added to a discretionary fund to help support other firms affected. The money will be allocated to Local Authorities and the Devolved Administrations to support other businesses not eligible for the grants outlined above.
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.'
The previously announced grants package for businesses is still available and the above measures are in addition to this.