The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced £4.6 billion in new grants to support UK businesses and protect jobs as England enters a third national lockdown.
On Monday evening, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new stay at home lockdown, set to last until at least mid-February.
Under new support measures announced by the Chancellor, retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will be able to receive one-off top up grants up to £9,000 per property.
Meanwhile, a £594 million discretionary fund is being made available through Local Authorities and the Devolved Administrations to support other businesses negatively impacted by the lockdown.
Last night’s announcement did not directly impact the devolved administrations, though they are currently in their own lockdowns. The Scottish Government will receive £375 million to support businesses, while the Welsh Government will receive £227 million and the Northern Ireland Executive will receive £127 million.
Speaking about the new support measures, Mr Sunak said;
“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.”
The new lockdown in England is expected to be closer to the lockdown in March than in November, with schools being closed and moving to online learning. The lockdown comes amid rapid rises in Coronavirus case rates across the country and a recommendation from the UK’s Chief Medical Officers to move into COVID Alert Level 5, the highest level on the system.