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£2.2bn boost to see business through national restrictions to be delivered locally

Small businesses in England will receive a significant £2.2 billion from the government to help them through the current period of national restrictions.

Businesses will benefit from 2 grant schemes: one for businesses that have had to close, and another scheme for further business support as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, helping support people’s jobs and livelihoods and protect communities.

Money has already been transferred to councils in England and businesses can expect to receive money covering the 4-week period of national restrictions in the coming days and should check their council’s website for details.

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Commenting on the move, business secretary Alok Sharma, said: “We know that this is a really tough time for businesses across the country, which is why we are continuing to deliver a wide-ranging package of urgent support.”

Adding: “This much-needed cash will help to sustain businesses, protect jobs and keep communities ticking as we continue to tackle the virus in the coming weeks.”

While minister for high streets, Kelly Tolhurst, said: “This funding will help to protect jobs and give businesses on the high street added security at this time. The ban on commercial evictions until the end of the year provides landlords and tenants with an opportunity to reach an agreement which can help businesses to continue operating.”

The grant schemes are:

The Local Restrictions Support Grants, for businesses which have had to close or have been severely impacted by local restrictions (hospitality, leisure and non-essential retail sectors):

  • business owners will receive £1,334 per 4 weeks if they have a rateable value below £15,000
  • they will receive £2,000 per 4 weeks if they have a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • they will receive £3,000 per 4 weeks if they have a rateable value above £51,000
  • The Additional Restrictions Grant, provided by councils on a discretionary basis.

Local authorities will receive a sum of money equivalent to £20 per head of their local population to distribute to businesses which have been severely impacted by restrictions. For example, a council covering an area with a population of 100,000 would receive £2 million for this purpose. Those likely to be in receipt of these grants include large employers with significant fixed costs such as seaside attractions or local manufacturers, as well as sole traders, tour operators and market traders who do not have a rateable value.

This includes businesses like pubs not serving substantial meals, betting shops, arcades and soft play centres in areas like Liverpool, Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire. Some places such as South Yorkshire and Liverpool City Region negotiated their support under this scheme prior to the national lockdown.

In total, £2.2 billion will be given to businesses across England to support jobs, livelihoods and local communities.

Businesses are urged to engage with their local authority and ensure that council officials have contact and payment information for them. They risk not receiving this vital support if they do not.

The 2 new grants schemes are designed to support jobs and livelihoods. As well as the grants, the government has also announced:

  • an extension to the furlough scheme until March – with government covering 80% of wages
  • more generous support to the self-employed – equivalent to the generosity of the furlough scheme
  • an extension to the existing government-backed loan schemes
  • an extension to the mortgage payment holiday for homeowners
  • reduced VAT for hospitality, accommodation and attractions until the end of March 2021
  • business rates relief for hospitality, retail, leisure and nurseries until the end of March 2021
  • the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund
  • extended support to prevent business evictions until the end of the year

Tags : businesscovid-19grantlocal authority
Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas

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