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UK government offers £4.6 billion in new lockdown grants

UK government offers £4.6 billion in new lockdown grants

The UK chancellor of the exchequer has announced one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses as the country enters a third lockdown.

With people urged to stay at home across the England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland until at least the middle of February, businesses are to be offered grants worth up to £9,000 per property to help them survive until spring.

A total of £594 million in discretionary funds have also been also made available to support other impacted businesses.

The cash comes in addition to £1.1 billion further discretionary grant funding for local authorities, local restriction support grants worth up to £3,000 a month and extension of furlough scheme until April.

Chancellor, Rishi 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.”

This latest moves follow prime minister Boris Johnson’s announcement last night that these business will be closed until at least February half-term in order to help control the Covid-19 pandemic.

The cash is provided on a per-property basis to support businesses through the latest restrictions, and is expected to benefit over 600,000 business properties, worth £4 billion in total across all nations of the UK.

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.

In total the Scottish government will receive £375 million, the Welsh government will get £227 million and the Northern Ireland executive will see a total of £127 million.

Image: Toby Melville/PA Wire/PA Images