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Published on January 6th, 2021 | by The GC Team

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Extra funding for businesses during lockdown “not enough”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s new one-off Lockdown Grant and a discretionary fund, announced 5th January, “just won’t be enough” the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has said.

National Chair of the organisation Mike Cherry said the funds come after a “disappointing festive period” and “do not go far enough to match the scale of the crisis that small firms are facing”.

The grants will be available for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses that have had to close due to the new lockdown measures which came into to force today (Wednesday 6th January).

They will depend on rateable value of businesses and can be claimed on each relevant property at the following levels:

Rateable value                                       Grant 

£15,000 or less                                       £4,000

£51,000 or less but above £15,000     £6,000

Over £51,000                                          £9,000

In addition, a further £594 million discretionary fund is available to Local Authorities to support local businesses that do not qualify for the Lockdown Grant but are affected by the restrictions, which would include businesses in the supply chain.

Announcing the extra business funding, the Chancellor 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.”

But the FSB’s Mike Cherry said that, while the additional financial support will be a lifeline to 600,000 businesses, “for many it just won’t be enough for businesses who are already under the cosh and on the brink.”

The funds come after a “disappointing festive period and are followed by a last-minute lockdown and do not go far enough to match the scale of the crisis that small firms are facing.”

Cherry added that there remain too many groups who need more support, such as the newly self-employed, those in supply chains and company directors, and called on the government to create a Directors Income Support Scheme.

“After clawing their way through 2020, the start of the new year looks set to be an even worse one for many. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and it is absolutely vital we support them in every way possible until the crisis finally begins to ease.”

The Lockdown Grant and discretionary fund are administered by Local Authorities and businesses will need to apply to them for this support.

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