Chancellor announces help for businesses until spring

The Chancellor has announced new measures to help businesses in the light of the lockdown announced in the past 24 hours.

The measures announced so far are:

– One-off top-up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses of up to £9,000 per business premises, broken down as £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; and £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000. These grants are being offered on a per business property basis;

– The one-off top-up grants are in addition to the ongoing grants of up to £3,000 a month that some businesses can already claim;

– Today’s announcement also involves an additional £594m fund available to support other sectors;

– Extension to Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, with details yet to come;

– Additional funding for devolved administrations to help businesses (£375m for Scottish Government, £227m for the Welsh Govrrnment, and £127m for the Northern Ireland Executive);

– Confirmation of the furlough scheme being extended until the end of April, and the 100 per cent business rates relief as already announced for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak says: “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.”

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