Businesses to benefit from new £4.6bn support package
A new £4.6 billion government support package for struggling companies has been announced by the Chancellor.
Rishi Sunak gave the news this morning (Tuesday) following the Prime Minister's announcement of a third national lockdown last night.
Mr Sunak said the Treasury would provide £4bn of one-off top-up grants for an estimated 600,000 retail, hospitality and leisure companies. These can each claim up to £9,000.
Further there will be a £594 million discretionary fund made available for councils to support other businesses not eligible for those grants, but are affected by the restrictions.
Mr Sunak said: "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."
The new one-off grants come in addition to billions of existing business support, including grants worth up to £3,000 for closed businesses, and up to £2,100 per month for impacted businesses once they reopen.
The government has also provided 100 per cent business rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, £1.1 billion existing discretionary funding for local authorities, the furlough scheme now extended to April and 100 per cent government backed loans, extended until March.
The tough new lockdown measures — due to last at least seven weeks — means schools, hospitality and non-essential shops across England will have to shut.
Boris Johnson urged everyone to stay at home, work from home and avoid travel — unless absolutely necessary or for specific urgent tasks and exercise.