Last reviewed 5 January 2021

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are to receive a one-off top-up grant worth up to £9000 to help them through to the Spring, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced.

Coming the day after it was confirmed that both England and Scotland are effectively going back into national lockdowns (see New lockdown announced for England and Scotland underlines stay-at-home rules), the news will be welcome.

The latest announcement comes in addition to £1.1 billion further discretionary grant funding for local authorities, Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3000 a month and extension of the furlough scheme.

The Treasury confirmed that a £594 million discretionary fund will also be made available to support other businesses not eligible for the grants, that might be affected by the restrictions.

These businesses should apply to their local authorities.

“Throughout the pandemic we’ve taken swift action to protect lives and livelihoods and today we’re announcing a further cash injection to support businesses and jobs until the Spring,” Mr Sunak said. “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.”

Business support is a devolved policy, the Chancellor pointed out, and therefore the responsibility of the devolved administrations which will receive additional funding as a result of these announcements in the usual manner.

The Scottish Government will receive £375 million; the Welsh Government will receive £227 million; and the Northern Ireland Executive will receive £127 million.

The new grants

The one-off top-ups will be granted to closed businesses as follows:

  • £4000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under

  • £6000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000

  • £9000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000.

The cash is provided on a per-property basis to support businesses through the latest restrictions, and is expected to benefit over 600,000 business properties, worth £4 billion in total across all nations of the UK.