So it looks like for another couple of months at least, we will all be living in another lockdown. For retail, hospitality and leisure businesses that have survived the last two lockdowns, things look rather bleak. However the Chancellor has announced that grants of up to £9,000 will be available for businesses in these sectors.
The UK suffered its worst recession on record at the start of 2020 but was expected to bounce back after the summer. However this didn't happen when restrictions were tightened again. As a result many employers cut jobs, particularly in the retail, hospitality and tourism trade. Without adequate support this was going to happen on an even wider scale coming into 2021.
Over 600,000 businesses are expected to apply for a grant, which will cost around £4 billion. With the lockdown expected to last until at least mid-February, the government hopes the fund will sustain jobs and keep companies afloat until then.
How much will businesses get?
One off grants will be provided to businesses on a sliding scale. Closed businesses on sites with a rateable value of £15,000 will be able to apply for £4,000. Companies on premises valued between £15,000 and £51,000 will be able to get £6,000. At the very top of the scale, businesses on properties valued at over £51,000 will be allowed to receive £9,000.
Will this support be enough?
Some business experts have said that these measures are a step in the right direction and will help to reassure businesses under severe strain. However the furlough scheme that has already been extended to the spring, is due to unwind. It has been suggested that more certainty and guarantees are needed to help assure companies.
Is there help for businesses not in these industries?
Even if you're not in these industries you can still get help. The government has provided Local Authorities and the Devolved Administrations with a discretionary fund of just under £600 million. This is to provide support for businesses ineligible for the retail and hospitality grants. If you need support you can apply to your local authority.
We're living in testing times right now, and you need all the support you can get. Are you a small business looking to connect with customers and keep a step ahead of the competition? At DotGO we create affordable business websites, and we would love to help create something special for you. Contact us for a friendly chat and find out what we can do.
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