New lockdown grants to support businesses and jobs through the latest nationwide shutdown
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property, following Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement last night (4 January) that businesses will close until at least mid-February.
As part of the latest package of financial support, the chancellor has made available a £594m discretionary fund to support other impacted businesses.
This is in addition to £1.1bn in further discretionary grant funding for local authorities, Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month and the extension of the furlough scheme to April.
Sunak said: "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."
The cash is set to be provided on a per-property basis and is expected to benefit more than 600,000 business properties, worth £4bn in total across all nations of the UK. The government said it has also provided 100% business rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses.
The devolved administrations will also receive additional funding, with the Scottish government set to get £375m, the Welsh government £227m and the Northern Ireland executive is to receive £127m.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson last night (4 January) announced a third national lockdown for England which is expected to last until mid-February, in response to soaring coronavirus cases.
The government advised everyone to follow the new rules from now, which will then become law from 00.01 on Wednesday 6 January, and said that it is hoped that by mid-February the NHS will have vaccinated everyone in the top four priority groups.
In an address to the nation, he warned that the coming weeks would be "the hardest yet" as he told people to stay at home and followed Wales and Scotland in announcing the closure of schools and colleges in England, with teaching to resume online.
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