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Covid-19 Business Support - New Lockdown Grants and update to CJRS

Unfortunately, the New Year has brought another national lockdown and we once again find we cannot leave our homes except for certain reasons. We hope the vaccine and the new lockdown slows the spread of the virus down. In the meantime, we will continue to support you throughout this troubling period, and we will be processing your payroll, accounts, tax returns and grants as usual.

Below is our latest summary of Government information. If you need help please talk to us, we are here to listen and advise our clients - we are with you all the way.

New lockdown grants announced

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors are to receive a one-off grant worth up to £9,000, the Chancellor announced on 5th January.

The Chancellor announced one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring. In addition, there is a £594 million discretionary fund also made available to support other impacted businesses.

The grants will be provided on a per-property basis to support businesses through the latest restrictions, and is expected to benefit over 600,000 business properties, worth £4 billion in total across all nations of the UK.

A further £594 million is also being made available for Local Authorities and the Devolved Administrations to support other businesses not eligible for the grants, that might be affected by the restrictions. Businesses should apply to their Local Authorities.

The one-off top-ups will be granted to closed businesses as follows:

  • £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under

  • £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000

  • £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000

Any business which is legally required to close, and which cannot operate effectively remotely, is eligible for a grant.

Business support is a devolved policy and therefore the responsibility of the devolved administrations, which will receive additional funding as a result of these announcements in the usual manner:

  • the Scottish Government will receive £375 million

  • the Welsh Government will receive £227 million

  • the Northern Ireland Executive will receive £127 million

We will keep you up to date with further details as and when the Governments release information.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme rules have been updated

In view of the national lockdown the Government has released Information about employees unable to work because they have caring responsibilities.

The rules now state that employees are eligible to be furloughed under the job retention scheme, if they are unable to work, including from home or working reduced hours because they have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus (COVID-19).

Caring responsibilities can include:

  • caring for children who are at home as a result of school and childcare facilities closing,

  • caring for a vulnerable individual in their household.

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