Rishi Sunak reveals new cash grants of up to £3,000 to help restaurants, pubs and nightclubs closed due to coronavirus10/09/2020
BUSINESSES which have been forced to shut due to coronavirus restrictions will be able to claim £3,000 a month from the government.
The new help was announced today by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of his wider plans to protect jobs as the furlough scheme comes to an end on October 31.
It comes as ministers are expected to outline a three-tier local lockdown system on Monday – signalling hospitality venues in coronavirus hotspots could temporarily close.
The safety net, which will benefit pubs, restaurants and cafes in locked down areas, is an increase from the previous £1,500 grant which could be claimed every three weeks.
Larger businesses will be able to get up to £3,000 a month in help, paid in arrears every two weeks.
But smaller businesses will be able to claim £1,300 a month – less than the £1,500 they can get at the moment.
What help is out there businesses and for self-employed workers?
THE government has introduced the following measures to help self-employed workers and businesses during the coronavirus outbreak:
Income-tax deferrals: Self-assessment income tax payments, that were due in July, can be deferred to the end of January next year.
Rent support: Businesses who are struggling to pay their rents are protected from eviction until the end of June.
Coronavirus business interruption loan scheme: SMEs can get loans and overdrafts of up to £5million for up to six years and the government will guarantee up to 80 per of these.
Grants of up to £10,000: Small firms can get grants of up to £10,000 to help with ongoing business costs.
VAT payments: VAT payments can be deferred for three months.
Tax bill help: SMEs that cannot afford their tax bills can ask HMRC for a “time to pay” arrangement so any debt collection is suspended.
Business rates holiday: A 12-month business rates holiday has been introduced for many businesses.
For medium businesses, this jumps to £2,000 per month.
The government estimates the additional support could help hundreds of companies stay in business, with pubs and restaurants already hit with a 10pm curfew.
And in the North of England, 10million Brits face a looming lockdown with hospitality venues ordered to shut.
But with the previous grant, businesses that were forced to shut on a national level – like nightclubs – were excluded from the help.
It's unclear if this will be the case with the new grants, or what financial support would be available in the event of a nationwide lockdown.
The government also hasn't revealed yet how businesses can apply for the new grants.
Help will be available to firms in England. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will benefit from a £1.3billion boost to their coronavirus fund.
The Chancellor is also extending his Jobs Support Scheme, with the government set to pay two thirds – up to £2,100 a month – of staff wages if their work has been closed.
Employers will only be required to pay workers' National Insurance and pension contributions.
Mr Sunak said the scheme is "more generous" than the furlough scheme, which from October 1 has seen the state cover up to 60% of employees wages, capped at £1,875 a month.
The latest support comes as latest gross domestic product (GDP) figures showed the economy grew by 2.1% in August thanks to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme – but the pace of recovery slowed.
The bounce back is less than half of what experts had expected, with analysts previously predicting GDP would increase by 4.6%, according to a survey by Pantheon Macroeconomics.
Rishi Sunak, said today: "Throughout the crisis the driving force of our economic policy has not changed.
"I have always said that we will do whatever is necessary to protect jobs and livelihoods as the situation evolves.
"The expansion of the Job Support Scheme will provide a safety net for businesses across the UK who are required to temporarily close their doors, giving them the right support at the right time."
Other help previously announced by the Chancellor includes the new pay as you grow scheme to give businesses more time to pay bounce back loans.
Trade unions and organisations have been urging the government to rethink plans to end the furlough scheme to avoid a second wave of job cuts.
It comes as unemployment continues to grow, with Office for National Statistics data showing nearly 7000,000 Brits had been out of work since March as the unemployment rate hits 4.1%.
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