Rishi Sunak announces £4.6 billion in new lockdown grants for UK businesses
By Megha Bhattacharya
UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced new one-off top-up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring. This follows Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement of shutting down enterprises until February half-term along with a lockdown plan to help control the virus.
According to Sunak, the cash will be provided on a per-property basis to support businesses through the latest restrictions and is expected to benefit over 600,000 business properties, worth £4 billion in total across all nations of the UK. He also 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.”
A discretionary fund worth £594 million has also been made available to support other affected businesses, which are not eligible for the grant. This comes in addition to the existing £1.1 billion discretionary grant funding for Local Authorities, Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month. The government has extended the furlough scheme to April and 100% government-backed loans until March.
“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,” Sunak concluded.
The press statement revealed that 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 which is legally required to close, and which cannot operate effectively remotely, is eligible for a grant.
For more information, please visit – https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support