Firstly, there are new grants for those business hit by Tier 2 restrictions, which mean only people from the same household can meet up in leisure, tourism and hospitality settings such as pubs, coffee shops and restaurants. Businesses suffering financially as a result will be able to claim grants of up to £2,100 a month, backdated to August.
Local authorities will administer the grants and set many of the precise rules about who is eligible. How much businesses can claim is linked to the rateable value of their premises. Those with a rateable value of £15,000 or less will qualify for £934 a month; this rises to £1,400 for firms in premises valued at between £15,000 and £51,000; and to the full £2,100 for those in higher-value properties.
In Tier 3 areas, meanwhile, where many businesses are being forced to close their doors altogether, these grants will increase to up to £3,000 a month. Firms in these regions will be entitled to a more generous form of the Job Support Scheme if they are ordered to close, with the government paying 67% of staff wages, and no requirement for a minimum number of hours worked or an employer contribution.
David Prosser is a regular MoneyWeek columnist, writing on small business and entrepreneurship, as well as pensions and other forms of tax-efficient savings and investments. David has been a financial journalist for almost 30 years, specialising initially in personal finance, and then in broader business coverage. He has worked for national newspaper groups including The Financial Times, The Guardian and Observer, Express Newspapers and, most recently, The Independent, where he served for more than three years as business editor.
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