Rishi Sunak plans grants for small businesses hit by hard lockdown

 Rishi Sunak walking up Downing Street stairs, small businesses lockdown concept

Chancellor Rishi Sunak on his way to give a press conference at Downing Street

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is drawing up plans for new Treasury support for small businesses who find themselves closed because of hard lockdown.

Pubs and restaurants would be forced to close, as well as possibly non-essential retailers, at the top level of a “three-tier” lockdown strategy, which could be announced as soon as tomorrow.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce a simplified three-tier system of local, regional and even a national lockdown. The system has yet to be finalised, with sources telling the Times that it was “stuck in No 10”, despite hurdling coronavirus infection cases in the North and scientists urging a national “circuit-breaker”.

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According to the draft traffic-light-style plan, obtained by the Guardian, the top-tier lockdown would include closure of hospitality and leisure businesses.

Mr Sunak has already provided grants of £1,500 to businesses forced to close under local lockdowns and said this week the government was prepared to move with “pace and scale” to deal with new problems as they arose during the crisis.

Lockdown grants

In September, the government announced that small businesses affected by a local lockdown could claim for a £1,000 grant.

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Larger businesses forced to shut because of local COVID-19 lockdowns can claim up to £1,500 per property every three weeks.

Local authorities are administering the scheme. You can find the full list of local authorities here.

  • A business occupying a premises with a rateable value less than £51,000 or occupying a property or part of a property subject to an annual rent or mortgage payment of less than £51,000, will receive £1,000
  • A business has a rateable value more than £51,000 or is part of a property subject to an annual rent or mortgage payment of more than £51,000, will receive £1,500

Further reading

How to get a £30,000 grant for your London-based small business

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