Chancellor’s latest update: New lockdown grants to support businesses forced to close

A short announcement from the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak this morning confirmed that new lockdown grants will be available for businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure forced to close until at least the middle of February.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement last night that the country was to go into another national lockdown, the Chancellor said that the one-off top-up grants would help businesses impacted by the restrictions through to the spring.

The amount available for each closed business (or individual property if you have more than one) depends on its rateable value:

  • £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

We don’t yet have details of exactly how this new grant will be claimed, but we will keep you updated. This new grant for businesses, is on top of previously announced grants worth up to £3,000 per month for closed business.

There will also be a further £594m made available in a discretionary fund to help local authorities, for affected businesses who are not eligible for the above grants.

Today’s announcement is in addition to the measures already set out by the Chancellor before Christmas, including:

  • Extension of the Job Retention Scheme (furlough) until the end of April
    • The government’s contribution to the scheme will continue at the current rate of 80% for hours not worked, meaning that employers will only have to pay National Insurance and pension contributions for any employees on furlough
  • Ability to apply for Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and Bounce Back Loans until 31 March 2021
  • Business rates relief for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses
  • A new scheme for deferred VAT payments
    • If you deferred payments between 20 March and 30 June 2020, you can opt to pay 11 monthly instalments, interest free – with all payments completed by the end of March 2022

The Chancellor also reiterated the Budget would take place on 3 March, meaning that he must be more certain of how the recovery would look, to be able to plan with any form of certainty.

We will wait to hear more detail on any provision for self-employed, and of course will keep you updated with any further developments.

As ever, we’re here to support you, please get in touch for further advice.

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