Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 4 January 2021 that many businesses will be closed until at least February half-term in order to help control the virus, the Chancellor has announced additional support to help businesses survive the lockdown.
The Chancellor announced on 5 January 2021, a one-off top up grant for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring. At present, we have no information on exactly which businesses this covers or if operators will be eligible. 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, worth £4 billion in total across all nations of the UK. The one-off top-ups will be granted to closed businesses as follows:
Also announced was a further £594 million 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. Businesses should apply to their Local Authorities.
This comes in addition to £1.1 billion further discretionary grant funding for Local Authorities, Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month and extension of furlough scheme.
The government has also provided 100% business rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, £1.1 billion existing discretionary funding for Local Authorities, the furlough scheme now extended to April and 100% government backed loans, extended until March.
Business support is a devolved policy and therefore the responsibility of the devolved administrations, which will receive additional funding as a result of these announcements in the usual manner:
Small businesses in the devolved administrations should also be able to benefit from other UK-wide measures in the government’s unprecedented package of support for business, including the various business lending schemes (where the repayment terms were made easier as part of the Winter Economy Plan), and the extension of the Self Employment Income Support Scheme.
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