Government announces £4.6billion lockdown package - with grants for businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure sectors



As England and Scotland plunge into a third lockdown, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a raft of grants to support firms hit hard by the new rules.

On Monday evening, Boris Johnson announced to the nation that it would once again be put under the harshest of restrictions – with the public told not to leave their homes except where necessary.

It is again the hospitality, retail and leisure sectors that are among the hardest hit – with non-essential shops, pubs, bars, restaurants, hotels, guest houses, gyms, leisure centres, theatres and cinemas among those ordered to shut.

To help businesses in these sectors survive the third lockdown, the Government has unveiled a £4.6billion lockdown package, including one-off grants for businesses in the hospitality, recreation and leisure sectors.

Here, Stephanie Hammond, Director at Beatons Group, explains what is on offer to businesses struggling to make ends meet in the months ahead.

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and entertainment sectors will be able to apply for a one-off grant of up to £9,000 to see them through the latest lockdown.

Grant cash will be given on a per-property basis and is expected to benefit more than 600,000 firms across the UK.

The package also includes a £594million discretionary fund to support other impacted businesses.

Another £1.1bn will be on offer for Local Authorities and devolved administrations, worth up to £3,000 a month.

The new grants supplement the existing support for businesses, including grants of up to £3,000 for closed businesses and up to £2,100 a month for businesses impacted by lockdown once they reopen.

In December, the Government extended the furlough scheme until the end of April – where it will pay 80% of the salary of employees for hours not worked, with businesses only paying their staff’s worked wages, national insurance contributions and pensions.

The new package has been welcomed by the Institute of Directors, with its Director of Policy, Roger Barker, saying it “will go some way to reassuring the worst affected businesses”.

However, he has warned that the chancellor must remain wary of a Spring ‘cliff edge’ in business support as the furlough scheme and other support unwinds.

For more on the furlough scheme, read our blog here:

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