New grants for businesses affected by local lockdowns

Ministers have announced new grants for businesses affected by local lockdowns. Businesses in England that are required to shut because of local interventions will now be able to claim up to £1,500 per property every three weeks.

The scheme will help provide a safety net to further protect jobs where a business is required to close and comes in addition to billions of pounds of existing loans, grants and tax breaks as well as the Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay told MPs that businesses in England required to close due to local lockdowns or targeted restrictions will now be able to receive grants worth up to £1,500 every three weeks.

To be eligible for the grant, a business must have been required to close due to local Covid 19 restrictions. The largest businesses will receive £1,500 every three weeks they are required to close. Smaller businesses will receive £1,000.

Payments are triggered by a national decision to close businesses in a high incidence area. Each payment will be made for a 3 week lockdown period. Each new 3 week lockdown period triggers an additional payment.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said:

"No business should be punished for doing the right thing, which is why today’s package will offer additional breathing space for businesses that have had to temporarily close to control the virus."

"Through our wider Plan for Jobs, we will continue to back our innovators and job creators across the country who are playing a critical role as we build back better from the pandemic."

Responding to the announcement, The Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) National Chairman Mike Cherry said:

"Though a lot of firms have now been able to reopen, thousands are still impacted by local lockdowns."

"That’s why this intervention is so critical - throwing a much needed additional financial lifeline to those most harmed."

"We look forward to working together with local government to make sure there is a straightforward process for all firms affected."

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