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Update – 6th January 2021

THIRD NATIONAL LOCKDOWN

On the back of a new national lockdown, the Government has stepped in to provide a fresh pot of money for businesses, particularly for those in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors who will be forced to close up shop until mid-February at the earliest.

This is a targeted package which is expected to help closed businesses over until the 2021/22 Budget announcement on Wednesday 3 March 2021.

The support package announced on Tuesday 5th January 2021 is as follows:

TOP UP RETAIL, HOSPITALITY AND LEISURE GRANTS

Those in the industry will be familiar with the £25,000 grants which were made available in the Summer of 2020, with further local restriction grants of up to £3,000 in the winter months.

The Government have introduced a further top up, worth up to £9,000 per closed business property, broken down as follows:

  • £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of below £15,000
  • £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

Any business which is legally required to close, and which cannot operate effectively remotely, is eligible for a grant.

Eligibility does not necessary mean acceptance, and we urge businesses affected to frequently check the Coronavirus and support sections about their businesses of their local authority website for updates and timings. Claims for these grants will be made through the local authorities websites as with previous grants and may be subject to strict and short deadlines.

DISCRETIONARY FUNDING

The Government also announced a £594 million injection into councils to distribute to impacted businesses which cannot access the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grants. Although, how far this grant will stretch over each council and impacted businesses in the UK, remains to be seen.
Again, please frequently check your local authority website for updates.

OTHER SUPPORT

As a reminder of the Government support which is still available:

  • The Job Retention “Furlough” Scheme, providing funding for 80% of an employee’s wages while they are not working, is still available until end of April 2021.
  • The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) third grant is available now to 29 January 2021. A fourth grant to cover the period February 2021 to April 2021 is expected to become available shortly after the third grant closes. This is an extension of the existing SEISS scheme and so the same, or similar, eligibility requirements are expected to apply as before. If you received the first or second stage grants, you can expect to be eligible for the third stage, if you were not eligible before, unfortunately you will not be eligible for these further stages
  • Bounce Back and CBILS Loans are available until end March 2021 for businesses who have not yet taken advantage of these loans. A top up facility for those who took less than they were entitled to in the earlier months should also be available through your bank provider.
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