COVID-19 BRIEFING FOR SME’S ISSUED AT 11OO hrs ON 5th JANUARY 2021: EXTRA FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES

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Following the introduction of the new Covid-19 lockdown in England the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has announced further financial help for businesses that are affected. The package, worth £4.6 billion, will come as grants aimed at supporting businesses and protecting jobs.

Here is a summary of the new measures:

  1. There will be one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property
  2. A £594 million discretionary fund will also be made available to support other impacted businesses. This fund will be administered and delivered by local Councils so you should check your Local Authority website at the end of this week for details of which businesses qualify and how to claim a grant
  3. 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 the UK
  4. The new grants come 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

The one-off top-up payments 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

Existing help

The Government has already provided 100% business rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, £1.1 billion existing discretionary funding for Local Authorities, the furlough scheme now extended the end of April and 100% Government backed loans, extended until March. All of these funds are still available for new applicants so please apply if you have not already done so. Contact your local Council for Local Authority discretionary funding, HMRC (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/get-help-with-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme ) for the furlough scheme and this link for Bounce Back loans https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-coronavirus-bounce-back-loan

Further measures

The new lockdown measures will be reviewed during week commencing 15th February. If, however, the Covid-19 infection situation and the vaccine roll-out programme substantially change before then we can expect additional measures – including further financial help – to be introduced in advance of 15th February.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer’s delayed annual Budget is still scheduled for Wednesday 3rd March, when we expect a comprehensive review of all Covid-19 related support packages in addition to the usual raft of taxation and spending announcements.

With good wishes,

Henry

1100 hrs 5th January 2021

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