One-off grant of up to £9K offered to shops, pubs and more

Shoppers pass a sale sign in York. Photograph: Zac Goodwin / PA Wire
5 Jan 2021 @ 12.24 pm
| Business

Retail, hospitality and leisure sites will be able to claim a one-off grant of up to £9,000, the Government has announced.

The payments will cost the Treasury £4.6 billion and are aimed to help support the high street as new lockdown measures announced on Monday take hold.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak also announced a further £594 million for local authorities and devolved administrations to support businesses not eligible for the grants.

Mr Sunak said: “The new strain of the virus presents us all with a huge challenge – and whilst the vaccine is being rolled out, we have needed to tighten restrictions further.

“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.

“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.”

Based on store size

Rishi Sunak addresses the Commons. Photograph: House of Commons

The latest payments will be based on the size of each store, pub, cafe or hotel tied into the business rates typically paid by each business. The smallest sites will be able to claim up to £4,000 and medium-sized ones £6,000.

However, the Chancellor stopped short of extending the business rates holiday, which ends in April, despite calls from retail and hospitality leaders for such a move.

Other noticeable absences being called for by business groups and unions include a VAT cut and improvements to sick pay or support for working parents.

Mr Sunak did not rule out further support in future, in particular over business rates relief and sick pay improvements.

He told Sky News: “We’ll have a Budget in early March, where we’ll take stock of all the various support that we’ve put in place, including today’s announcement of cash grants, and then review and set out the next stage of our economic response to coronavirus at that point.”