Businesses in the UK retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are to receive a one-off grant worth up to £9,000 (US12,224), while an extra £594m discretionary fund has been made available for other businesses, chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak announced, 5 January.
The announcement follows UK prime minister Boris Johnson’s confirmation that England will enter a full national lockdown, resulting in businesses in these sectors expected to remain closed until at least mid-February. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will also enter national lockdowns, and will also have access to the grants. As business support is a devolved power, the Scottish Government will receive £375m, the Welsh Government will receive £227m and the Northern Ireland Executive will receive £127m.
The one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses are worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the spring. HM Treasury saying it expects over 600,000 businesses with properties to benefit.
Crucially, a £594m discretionary fund has also been made available to support other impacted businesses. This fund is in addition to £1.1bn further discretionary grant for Local Authorities, Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month and extension of the furlough scheme.
Due to the fragmentation of the UK events industry, and how different businesses often fall under different categories, event business owners are advised to check with their Local Authority to confirm what they are eligible for. Applications must also go through the Local Authority.
Chancellor Sunak said he hoped the extra support would “help businesses to get through the months ahead”. He added: “Crucially, it will help sustain jobs, so workers can be ready to return when they are able to reopen.”