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New COVID grants announced for closed retailers

Chancellor Rishi Sunak

As England enters its third coronavirus-supressing lockdown the Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced new one-off grants of up to £9,000 to help keep closed retailers afloat.

This morning Rishi Sunak revealed a £4.6 billion package of measures across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which comes in addition to the existing support that businesses have been able to access since the COVID-19 pandemic first forced the UK Government to issue calls for people to stay home and for non-essential retailers and leisure facilities to close.

One-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses that have now closed will be worth up to £9,000 per property, to help these operations through the winter lockdown.

These will be granted to closed businesses as follows:

  • £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
  • £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000

A further £594 million is being made available to local authorities and the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland  to support other businesses that are not eligible for these grants but may be affected by the new restrictions. These businesses must apply to their local authorities.

The furlough scheme will continue until the end of April, and retail businesses continue to have 100% business rates relief.

The existing government-backed loans are extended until March.

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."

The new lockdown for England is first due for review on February 15.

Car showrooms are required to close, however online sales and click-and-collect services may operate.

Aftersales workshops are allowed to remain open during the latest lockdown.

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