Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses will receive one-off grants of up to £9,000 to help deal with the challenges of the new lockdown, the Chancellor has said.
Rishi Sunak has announced the £4.6 billion package for the hardest-hit businesses to 'support them through the spring and protect jobs'.
A £594 million discretionary fund also made available to support other impacted businesses not eligible for the grants.
England is now back in lockdown until at least the middle of February in order to combat a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation on Monday evening (4 January).
It has meant all non-essential retail, hospitality, zoos and gyms have been forced to close again.
What the government describe as '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
The newly-announced package is on top of the ongoing grants of up to £3,000 a month that businesses can already claim, while the furlough scheme remains in place until April.
Mr Sunak (pictured) 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."
Keep up to date with all the latest local and national developments here: https://www.