Government announces £594 million in new business support

Plus £4 billion for retail, hospitality and leisure

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a £594 million support package for struggling UK businesses one day after the government announced a new nation-wide lockdown. 

Read time: 2 minutes

  • £4 billion support for retail, hospitality and leisure
  • £594 million for other businesses
  • Local Authorities and Devolved Administrations to distribute funds

Sunak said the £594 million support package would be made available to Local Authorities and the Devolved Administrations, a move that will allow them to support businesses such as startups that may not qualify for other support mechanisms announced today. Details of eligibility and how to apply have not yet been released.

The £594 million support package adds to the £1.1 billion existing discretionary funding for Local Authorities. 

A further £4 billion support package is aimed at an estimated 600,000 businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, with grants worth up to £9,000 per property. 

Some existing schemes are due to conclude in March in April and Sunak said that additional support could be announced in the Budget on 3 March. 

“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,” 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.”

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, welcomed the Treasury announcement but said the support package does not go far enough. 

“Clearly more help is needed, including an extension to the business rates holiday and the VAT relief scheme, targeted support for night-time economy businesses which have been forced to stay shut since March, and more support for those who are self-isolating,” said Khan.

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