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 detailed below are still available and the above measures are in addition to this.
The Chancellor announced on Friday 9 October that businesses in England that are forced to shut as a result of lockdown measures will be eligible for grants of up to £3,000 per month, payable every two weeks. Businesses will be eligible to claim after two weeks of closure.
The amount businesses will be able to claim from their local authority depends on their rateable value:
- Small businesses with a rateable value of or below £15,000 will be able to claim £1,334 per month or £667 per two weeks.
- Medium-sized businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000 will be able to claim £2,000 per month or £1,000 per two weeks.
- Larger businesses will be able to claim £3,000 per month or £1,500 per two weeks.
The government is also extending the scheme to include businesses that have been forced to close on a national rather than a local basis.
Open Businesses in High Alert Level Areas
The Chancellor announced on 22 October 2020 that Local Authorities (‘LA’s’) will receive additional funding to provide support to hospitality, hotel. B&B and leisure businesses in their area, which have not been required to close, but which are severally impacted by the restrictions on socialising.
LA’s will receive funding equivalent to the number of these business types in their area as follows:
- For properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under – £934 per month
- For properties with a rateable value of between £15,000 to £51,000 – £1,400 per month
- For properties with a rateable value of more than £51,000 – £2,100 per month.
In addition, they will receive a 5% top up to provide support to effected businesses that do not fall into these categories.
It will be up to the Local Authorities to determine which businesses are eligible in their area and the funding to allocate to each business. Therefore, you will need to check with your Local Authority to determine the exact support they will be offering.