Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a grant worth up to £9,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses hit by the new lock down.
The one-off payment is expected to benefit more than 600,000 business properties across the whole UK, at a total cost of £4bn, the Treasury said.
Mr Sunak also announced a £594m discretionary fund to support other businesses hit by the coronovirus shutdown announced on Monday by Boris Johnson, which is expected to last until at least 22 February in England.
The one-off grant will be provided to firms on a per-property basis, with £4,000 going to those with a rate able value below £15,000, £6,000 to those with a value between £15-51,000 and £9,000 above this level, said the Treasury.
Discretionary payments will be made available via local authorities and devolved administrations.
“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 move represents the first government response to appeals for help to ensure firms’ survival through the new lockdown, and was welcomed by the Institute of Directors, which said it would “go some way to reassuring the worst-affected businesses”.
But IoD director of policy Roger Barker warned: “The chancellor must remain wary of a spring cliff-edge in business support as the furlough scheme and other support measures unwind.”
For more information on these grants and whether your business is eligible click here