The Government has announced new funding to support businesses in England that are required to close due to local COVID-19 lockdowns or targeted restrictions. The largest firms will receive £1,500 for every three weeks they are required to close. Smaller businesses will receive £1,000.

Payments will be triggered by a national decision to close businesses in a high incidence area. Each payment will be made for a three-week lockdown period and every new period will prompt an additional payment.

Businesses that occupy premises with a rateable value of less than £51,000 or a property or part of a property subject to an annual rent or mortgage payment of less than £51,000, will receive £1,000. Those occupying premises with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or above, or properties or part of a property subject to an annual rent or mortgage payment of exactly £51,000 or above, will receive £1,500.

Any businesses still closed at a national level (eg nightclubs), will not be eligible.

Local authorities will also receive an additional 5% top-up amount of business support funding to enable them to help other businesses affected by closures which may not be on the business rates list.

Councils will be responsible for distributing these discretionary grants to businesses in circumstances where they are closed due to local interventions. Further eligibility criteria may be determined by councils at a local level.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay said:

‘These grants provide businesses with a safety net as they temporarily close their doors to help save lives in their local areas.’

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