BUSINESSES which have been forced to shut due to coronavirus restrictions will be able to claim £3,000 a month from the government.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled new support for businesses who can’t operate because of a local lockdownCredit: Reuters
It comes as ministers are expected to outline a three-tier local lockdown system on Monday – signalling hospitality venues in coronavirus hotspots could temporarily close.
The new safety net, which will benefit pubs, restaurant, nightclubs and cafes in England, is an increase from the previous £1,500 grant which could be claimed every three weeks.
Larger businesses will be able to get up to £3,000 a month in help after two weeks of closing.
Smaller businesses will be able to claim £1,300 a month, up from the £1,000 they can claim now.
What help is out there businesses and for self-employed workers?
THE government has introduced the following measures to help self-employed workers and businesses during the coronavirus outbreak:
Income-tax deferrals: Self-assessment income tax payments, that were due in July, can be deferred to the end of January next year.
Rent support: Businesses who are struggling to pay their rents are protected from eviction until the end of June.
Coronavirus business interruption loan scheme: SMEs can get loans and overdrafts of up to £5million for up to six years and the government will guarantee up to 80 per of these.
Grants of up to £10,000: Small firms can get grants of up to £10,000 to help with ongoing business costs.
VAT payments: VAT payments can be deferred for three months.
Tax bill help: SMEs that cannot afford their tax bills can ask HMRC for a “time to pay” arrangement so any debt collection is suspended.
Business rates holiday: A 12-month business rates holiday has been introduced for many businesses.
For medium businesses, the help available jumps to £2,000 per month.
The government estimates the additional support could help hundreds of thousands of companies stay in business, with pubs and restaurants already hit with a 10pm curfew.
A wave of redundancies have been announced in the hospitality sector following the tighter restrictions, with Greene King the latest to announce it will close 79 pubs and axe 800 jobs.
As well as helping businesses hit by local lockdowns and temporary restrictions, the grants will be available to firms who haven’t been able to open since March, including nightclubs.
With the last grants, funding was distributed by local authorities. This will be the case again with the increased support, with the higher amount coming into force from November 1.
The grants are only available to firms in England. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will benefit from a £1.3billion boost to their coronavirus fund.
The Chancellor is also extending his Jobs Support Scheme, with the government set to pay two thirds – up to £2,100 a month – of staff wages if their work has been closed.
What is the new expansion of the Jobs Support Scheme?
- Two thirds of wages for businesses ordered to shut
- Will pay up to £2,100 a month rather than the previous £2,500 a month
- Have to be on payroll by September 23
- If already on the Job Retention Scheme, you can carry it over from the start of next month
- Employers will not be required to contribute towards wages and only asked to cover NICS and pension contributions
Employers will only be required to pay workers’ National Insurance and pension contributions.
Mr Sunak said the scheme is “more generous” than the furlough scheme, which from October 1 has seen the state cover up to 60% of employees wages, capped at £1,875 a month.
The latest support comes as latest gross domestic product (GDP) figures showed the economy grew by 2.1% in August thanks to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme – but the pace of recovery slowed.
The bounce back is less than half of what experts had expected, with analysts previously predicting GDP would increase by 4.6%, according to a survey by Pantheon Macroeconomics.
Rishi Sunak, said today: “Throughout the crisis the driving force of our economic policy has not changed.
“I have always said that we will do whatever is necessary to protect jobs and livelihoods as the situation evolves.
“The expansion of the Job Support Scheme will provide a safety net for businesses across the UK who are required to temporarily close their doors, giving them the right support at the right time.”
Other help previously announced by the Chancellor includes the new pay as you grow scheme to give businesses more time to pay bounce back loans.
Trade unions and organisations have been urging the government to rethink plans to end the furlough scheme to avoid a second wave of job cuts.
It comes as unemployment continues to grow, with Office for National Statistics data showing nearly 7000,000 Brits had been out of work since March as the unemployment rate hits 4.1%.