New grants announced for businesses affected by local lockdowns

New grants announced for businesses affected by local lockdowns

Ministers have today announced new funding to support businesses impacted by Covid 19.

Businesses in England required to close due to local lockdowns or targeted restrictions will now be able to receive grants worth up to £1,500 every three weeks, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay told MPs today. To be eligible for the grant, a business must have been required to close due to local Covid 19 restrictions. The largest businesses will receive £1,500 every three weeks they are required to close. Smaller businesses will receive £1,000.

Payments are triggered by a national decision to close businesses in a high incidence area. Each payment will be made for a 3 week lockdown period. Each new 3 week lockdown period triggers an additional payment.

This targeted support is in addition to businesses eligibility for the Government’s existing schemes of support to businesses which remain available to impacted companies. This includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has supported the wages of 9.6 million people so far, government backed loans and business grants worth up to £25,000 per property.

This help will also support local jobs dependent on impacted businesses, complementing the Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs.

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Responding to the announcement that firms in England forced to close due to local Coronavirus restrictions will be able to claim grants of up to £1,500 every three weeks, British Chambers of Commerce Director General Adam Marshall said:

“Businesses forced to close through no fault of their own will welcome any new grant support, but for most this will not be enough to offset the resulting cash crunch.

“With new local restrictions becoming more frequent, a comprehensive package of support will be needed for affected firms. More than half of Chamber members see local lockdowns as a major barrier to maintaining day-to-day operations and more than 1 in 3 have three months or less worth of cash in reserve.

“Ministers should increase the amount on offer to ensure businesses and jobs are protected, and extend coverage to more firms that are hard-hit but not forced to close.”

"For most this will not be enough to offset the resulting cash crunch."

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