Sunak unveils lockdown grants worth up to £9,000
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced today a one-off grant worth up to £9,000 for businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure as part of a £4.6bn support package to help business through the latest national lockdown.
This morning, Sunak unveiled fresh support for struggling UK sectors hit hardest by the Covid restrictions that will have to close due to the new national lockdown.
Businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure will be able to receive one-off grants up to £9,000 per business premises.
The announcement comes the morning after the prime minister imposed tough new lockdown measures which are likely to last until at least February half term.
The one-off grant will be open to businesses in hospitality, retail and leisure forced to close their doors and the amount will be judged on the rateable value of the premises.
- £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
In addition, Sunak also rolled out a further £594m for local authorities and devolved administrations. These funds will support businesses not eligible for the one-off grant and those interested are encouraged to apply to their local authorities.
Sunak recognised that the new strain of the virus presents a “huge challenge” and requires “swift action”, which is why they’re announcing “a further cash injection to support businesses and jobs until Spring”.
“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.”
Today’s £4.6bn cash injection comes in addition to the already existing grants worth up to £3,000, the extension to the furlough scheme until April and the business lending schemes.
The last line of the government press release also highlighted an extension of the Self Employment Income Support Scheme, but no further details were given on that nor any support for those that don't qualify for SEISS.
Devolved administrations will have their own pot to deliver grants and support, with Scotland receiving £275m and the Welsh government getting £227m.
— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) January 5, 2021
This package of support will tide businesses over until 3 March when Sunak will “take stock of our wider support, and set out the next stage in our economic response”.
“The next few weeks are going to be difficult but we are vaccinating more and more people every day. So that’s why we are re-doubling our efforts to protect businesses, jobs and incomes,” said Sunak
But questions have already been raised on whether this support will be enough for Covid-hit businesses that were already suffering before the announcement of the new lockdown. MP Mel Stride, the chair of the Treasury committee, said the additional support from the Chancellor will be welcomed by struggling businesses but the committee will be “scrutinising it very carefully”. He added: “The Chancellor must not forget those who have fallen through the gaps around previous support packages.”
On Monday evening, Boris Johnson ordered the people in England to stay at home, as the reported cases of coronavirus spiralled to a record 58,784 cases on Monday. The tough new rules in England mirror those in Scotland, where earlier on Monday first minister Nichola Sturgeon issued similar stay at home orders.
HMRC’s decision to reject calls to extend the self assessment deadline will be a further blow for those balancing Covid support and meeting the 31 January.
The AccountingWEB readers up against the looming 31 January self assessment deadline are already questioning whether their situation would mean they’re considered key workers and able to work from their offices.
“I think we are as we are providing essential services and one with an immediate deadline,” said Kaylee100.
JD agreed: “I for one definitely do not want clients delivering records to my home and will be taking the safest option of continue going to the office.”
The founder of the Corporate Finance Network, Kirsty Mcgregor backed this cause on Twitter.
@RishiSunak can you add #accountants to the list of keyworkers please? 1000s of us aren’t homeschooling our kids today, we’re trying to support your economy & the tens of thousands SMEs who need advice. We are absolutely key! @ACCA_UK @AVNInspiringAcc @uk200group @2020GroupUK
— Kirsty McGregor (@TheCFN) January 5, 2021
Is this support enough for your clients? Will any of your clients miss out during this new national lockdown?