January 5, 2021 1.42 pm This story is over 8 months old

Extra £4.6 billion to support businesses in 3rd lockdown

New lockdown a “blow for many businesses”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a new series of grants totalling £4.6 billion for UK businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors to support and protect jobs during the third national lockdown.

Businesses in the three sectors will be able to claim a one-off grant worth up to £9,000.

There will also be a £594 million discretionary fund made available to support other impacted businesses, in addition to a further £1.1 billion for local authorities and Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month.

The furlough scheme will also be extended to April.

Rishi Sunak said: “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.”

Simon Beardsley, Chief Executive of the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “This new lockdown is a blow for many businesses, who once again have to shut their doors for an extended period of time.

“Whilst the announcement of extra business grants is welcome – however we realise a grant is of course no substitute for an open business.

“What we need to see now is a clear support package for the whole year and Government must move away from this drip-feed approach and set out a longer term plan, allowing businesses to plan, and ultimately survive. “

He added: “It is vital that the businesses who are not eligible for this new grant get given clear instructions on what money will be available to them as soon as possible, and when this can be received, to help them plan for the difficult six weeks ahead.”

On Twitter, Leader of East Lindsey District Council, Craig Leyland said:

Katrina Pierce, Development Manager at The Federation of Small Businesses for Lincolnshire said: “It’s very good to see the treasury respond quickly with a new round of cash grants for businesses forced to close, as there really is no time to waste here.

“It also reassuring to see this grant will be paid out on top of the current Local Restrictions Grant Scheme and not instead of.

“Businesses need as much cash as possible right now so hopefully between these grants and the ongoing furlough scheme, this may be enough to help businesses scrape through until Spring.

She added: “However there are lots of other hard-hit firms that don’t have premises that also urgently need help; directors, the self-employed and start-ups plus the many, many businesses who have been able to trade but have seen their income dramatically reduced.

“If government is serious about supporting business through this last but most difficult stretch we will need to see support expanded.”

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