The Treasury has introduced £4.6bn in grants for businesses as England enters another national lockdown.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson last night confirmed a national lockdown, lasting from 5 January until at least mid-February.
To support businesses affected by the restrictions, Chancellor Rishi Sunak (pictured) on Tuesday announced one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property.
The government is also giving £594m to local authorities and the devolved administrations to support other businesses that are not eligible for the grants but might be affected by the restrictions. The government said businesses should apply to their local authorities.
The cash is provided on a per-property basis to support businesses through the latest restrictions, and is expected to help over 600,000 businesses, worth £4bn in total across all nations of the UK.
This comes in addition to £1.1bn further discretionary grant funding for local authorities, local restriction support grants worth up to £3,000 a month and the extension of the furlough scheme.
“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,” said Sunak.
“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.”
Business leaders recently warned ministers that unless government support for firms urgently increases, the new lockdown will cause widespread company failures and job losses.
Yesterday, business finance experts Rangewell called for the government to extend Covid-19 loan schemes for the rest of the year and provide additional support to encourage long-term credit facilities.