The Chancellor has announced one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property in the wake of the third national lockdown.
A £594 million discretionary fund will also made available to support other impacted businesses and comes in addition to £1.1 billion further discretionary grant funding for local authorities, Local Restriction Support Grants worth up to £3,000 a month and extension of furlough scheme.
But British Chambers of Commerce Director General, Adam Marshall, called for a long-term co-ordinated approach to business support, not a ‘drip-feed’ approach: “While this immediate cash flow support for business is welcome, it is not going to be enough to save many firms. We need to see a clear support package for the whole of 2021, not just another incremental intervention.
“The Government must move away from this drip-feed approach and set out a long-term plan that allows all businesses of all shapes and sizes to plan, and ultimately survive.
“Many smaller firms won’t qualify for the full headline amounts set out in the Chancellor’s statement and will be left struggling to see how this new top-up grant will help them out of their cashflow problems.
“Support must be sufficient to cover not just those on the front line of retail, hospitality and leisure, but also firms in supply chains and wider business communities who are also feeling the devastating impacts of these restrictions.”