£4.6bn in additional lockdown business support

With a new national lockdown starting tomorrow and set to last at least until mid-February, the Treasury has announced £4.6bn in additional grants to support businesses which are forced to close

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are to receive a one-off grant worth up to £9,000, the Chancellor has said.

The move follows the Prime Minister’s announcement last night that these business will be closed until at least February half-term in order to help control the virus.

The Treasury said 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 £4bn in total across all nations of the UK.

The one-off top-ups will be granted to closed businesses based on rateable values.

There is £4,000 available 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; and £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: ‘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, that might be affected by the restrictions. Businesses should apply to their local authorities for this support.

The government has previously announced that the furlough scheme has been extended to April and 100% government backed loans until March.

Under the restrictions Boris Johnson announced last night, all non-essential retail, hospitality and personal care services must close, or remain closed. Restaurants can continue delivery, takeaway or click-and-collect of food and non-alcoholic drinks, but venues will no longer be able to serve takeaway or click-and-collect alcohol.

Essential shops and garden centres can remain open. Entertainment venues and animal attractions such as zoos must close, but the outdoor areas of venues such as heritage homes and botanical gardens can remain open, to be used for exercise.

Indoor and outdoor sports facilities including sports courts, gyms, golf courses, swimming pools, and riding arenas must also close.

The restrictions will come into effect tomorrow, and are expected to last until the middle of February if the situation in hospitals improve. By this point, the NHS hopes to have vaccinated everyone in the top four priority groups – including older care home residents and staff, everyone over 70, all frontline NHS and care staff and all those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

Useful links:

Business support information

Coronavirus restrictions

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