The government has announced a new £1,000 small business grant for any small business in England affected by a local lockdown.
Businesses that are forced to shut because of local COVID-19 lockdowns will be able to claim up to £1,500 per property every three weeks.
Local authorities will administer the new small business local lockdown grant. You can find the full list of local authorities here.
If a business occupies a premises with a rateable value less than £51,000 or occupy a property or part of a property subject to an annual rent or mortgage payment of less than £51,000, it will receive £1,000.
If a business has a rateable value more than £51,000 or part of a property subject to an annual rent or mortgage payment of more than £51,000, it will receive £1,500.
Extra discretionary funding
Local authorities will also receive an additional 5 per cent top up amount of business support funding to enable them to help any other small business affected by local lockdown which may 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 and may be less than £1000 in some cases.
Steve Barclay, chief secretary to the Treasury, told MPs: “These grants provide businesses with a safety net as they temporarily close their doors to help save lives in their local areas.”
Alok Sharma, the business secretary, who persuaded the Treasury into offering help for small businesses blindsided by wildcat local lockdowns, said: “No business should be punished for doing the right thing, which is why today’s package will offer additional breathing space for businesses that have had to temporarily close to control the virus.”
Reacting to this afternoon’s announcement, Federation of Small Businesses national chairman Mike Cherry said: “Though a lot of firms have now been able to reopen, thousands are still impacted by local lockdowns and sector-based restrictions.
“That’s why this intervention is so critical – throwing a much-needed additional financial lifeline to those most harmed.”
Institute of Directors chief economist Tej Parikh also welcomed the announcement, although he wondered if £333 a week for the smallest firms was enough.
The increase in discretionary funding was another plus point, he said, although “the big question will be whether the pots are sufficient to cover the array of affected firms”.