UK Сhancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a support package that includes 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. A £594 million discretionary fund will also be made available to support other impacted businesses.
Sunak on Tuesday also promised £1.1 billion in further discretionary grant funding for local authorities, local restriction support grants worth up to £3,000 a month, and an extension of the furlough scheme.
— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) January 5, 2021
"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", Sunak said in a statement.
Grants for businesses that had to shut down due to coronavirus restrictions include:
- £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;
- 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;
- the Scottish government will receive £375 million;
- the Welsh government will receive £227 million;
- the Northern Ireland executive will receive £127 million;
- this is on top of the increased funding already guaranteed by the UK government to continue to provide the devolved administrations the certainty they need to plan for their COVID-19 response in the months ahead;
- 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.
On Monday, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation to announce a new lockdown to last until the middle of February, meaning in addition to existing restrictions, all schools were to close as well.