The government has introduced a new £1,000 small business grant for any small business in England impacted by a local lockdown.
Businesses that are required to shut as a result of local COVID-19 lockdowns can claim up to £1,500 per property every three weeks.
Local authorities will give the new small business local lockdown grant—full list of local authorities here.
If the business occupies a premises with a rateable value of less than £51,000 or occupies a property or part of a property that has an annual rent or mortgage payment of less than £51,000, it will be given £1,000.
If a business has a rateable value of more than £51,000 or part of a property subject to an annual rent or mortgage payment of more than £51,000, it will be given £1,500.
Extra additional funding
Local authorities will also receive an additional five percent top-up amount of business support funding to allow them to help any other small business affected by local lockdown, which might not be on the business rates list. Payments made to businesses from this local authority discretionary fund can be any amount up to £1,500. They may be below £1000 in some instances.
Steve Barclay, the chief secretary to the Treasury, told MPs: “The grants provide businesses a small safety net as they close their doors temporarily to help save lives in their local areas.”
Business secretary Alok Sharma, who convinced the Treasury into providing help for small businesses caught up by local lockdowns, said: “No business should be punished for doing the right thing, which explains why today’s package will offer more support for businesses that have had to temporarily close to control the spread of the virus.”
Responding to this afternoon’s announcement, The Federation of Small Businesses chairman Mike Cherry said: “Though many organizations have now had the opportunity to reopen, thousands remain impacted by local lockdowns and sector-based rules.
“That’s why this intervention is critical – throwing a much-needed extra financial lifeline to those businesses most harmed.”
Tej Parikh from the Institute of Director’s chief economist also welcomed the announcement. However, he questioned if £333 a week for the smallest firms was adequate.
The increase in discretionary funding has been another plus point, he said. However, “the big question will be whether or not the pots are sufficient to pay for the array of affected firms.”