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Published on October 22nd, 2020 | by The GC Team


Chancellor extends COVID support for businesses

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced additional support for businesses in response to the continuing economic challenges posed by COVID-19, comprising three measures including increasing the benefits of two previously announced support packages.

Job Support Scheme (JSS)
The JSS was announced last month to help businesses and employees remain operational up to 30th April 2021. The JSS commences on 1st November 2020 and is available to all businesses across all Tiers.

The Chancellor adjusted the JSS so that employees who work at least 20% of their regular working hours, down from 1/3rd, will qualify. For non-working hours, the Government will now pay up to 61.67% of wages capped at £1,541.75 per month and employers will now only pay 5%.

Where businesses are required to close under Tier 3, the contribution from the Government remains unchanged at 66.67% of wages capped at £2,100 per month.

In addition, the Job Retention Bonus remains available to all businesses.

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
The SEISS begins on 1st November 2020 and is scheduled to run for six months. It will provide grants to self-employed businesses that are severely affected by the COVID crisis.

The scheme offers an initial grant for the three months ending on 31st January 2021 at double the amount announced in the initial package, equal to 40% of previous earnings, and is capped at £3,750.

This scheme applies across all Tiers.

Business Grants
For businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure industries in Tiers 2 and 3 which have been adversely impacted by the restrictions but not required to close, additional grants of up to £2,100 per month will be available. These grants will be administered by local authorities who will determine which businesses are eligible for funding in their local areas.

The Chancellor also announced additional funding for Tiers 2 and 3 affected businesses that are not classified entirely as hospitality, leisure or accommodation sectors.

Furthermore, the grants can be backdated to August for businesses in areas that have previously been subject to restrictions.

Carolyn Fairbairn, Director-General of the CBI, said: “This is a big step towards a more standardised approach of support for areas going into tiers 2 and 3 and those businesses that face tough times who operate within them.  

“Looking beyond the immediate fire-fighting, the Chancellor will need to look at ways of stimulating business investment and innovation which will be key to how the economy thrives once again.”

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