One-off grants worth up to £9,000 available for retail, leisure and hospitality sectors
The chancellor has announced a £4.6bn relief package for retail, leisure and hospitality sectors in the UK after lockdowns were announced in England and Scotland.
Rishi Sunak said that UK businesses in these sectors are to be given one-off grants worth up to £9,000, and expected to support 600,000 business properties across the UK.
A further £594m will be made available to councils and devolved nations to support businesses not covered by the new grants.
Sunak said: “The new strain of the virus presents us all with a huge challenge – and, whilst the vaccine is being rolled out, we have needed to tighten restrictions further.
“Throughout the pandemic we’ve taken swift action to protect lives and livelihoods and today we’re announcing a further cash injection to support businesses and jobs until the spring.
“This will help businesses to get through the months ahead – and crucially it will help sustain jobs, so workers can be ready to return when they are able to reopen.”
Prior to the announcement, an ABTA spokesperson said: “It’s right, of course, that the government takes steps to control the spread of the virus. But this needs to come with the right measures to support travel businesses which have little or no means of operating. For ten months now, many travel businesses have been unable to generate income – putting jobs and businesses at risk – and the latest government measures mean this is unlikely to change soon. Yet, unlike other sectors such as hospitality, there hasn’t been any tailored financial support from the UK government to get travel businesses through the crisis. Other countries, including France and Italy, have established targeted schemes in recognition of the unique challenges facing travel. Similar recognition and support is long overdue from Westminster, and we urge ministers to address this gap urgently.”