While many of us breathed a sigh of relief as 2020 came to an end, the calm in the storm didn’t last long. Only days later, Boris Johnson introduced a new nationwide lockdown which could remain in place until the end of March as it stands.
What are the new lockdown rules for the retail, hospitality and leisure industries?
This new lockdown is similar to what we experienced in the first lockdown, with all but essential stores having to close their doors. While food establishments can still offer a takeaway service, pubs are no longer allowed to offer takeaway drinks. You can find a full list of which businesses can remain open here.
Government support for businesses
On the 5th January, Chancellor Rishi Sunak set out plans to offer financial support to the retail, hospitality and leisure industry with £4.6bn in lockdown grants. This means that one-off grants worth up to £9,000 will be available per property to help businesses through spring. This comes alongside an extended furlough period and 100% business rates relief for these industries.
This move is expected to offer much needed support to over 600,000 businesses properties across the UK. Any business that is eligible for the grant will not be expected to pay this money back.
How it works
- Sites with a rateable value of £15,000 or less will be able to claim up to £4,000
- Medium-sized sites with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000 are eligible for up to £6,000.
- Larger businesses with a rateable value of more than £51,000 will be able to claim up to £9,000.
Businesses will be able to apply for this grant via their local authority.
Matching the scale of the crisis
Despite this grant providing a lifeline for many, FSB chair Mike Cherry said that the grants “do not go far enough to match the scale of the crisis that small firms are facing.” There are also calls for these grants to be available to other industries who are impacted to a similar extent.
At Edwards Insurance Brokers, we understand that the uncertainty that we all continue to face has been devastating for many, and particularly those who operate in heavily public-facing industries. We’re here to help, and if you need any advice during this time – do not hesitate to pick up the phone. You can contact us on 01564 730 900.