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Chancellor Rishi Sunak announces £4.6bn package of lockdown support for businesses

By John Davidson

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak
Chancellor Rishi Sunak

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a new £4.6 billion package of measures to help businesses through the lockdown.

Mr Sunak said businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors could apply for one-off grants of up to £9000 per property.

There will also be a £594 million discretionary fund made available to support other impacted businesses.

The new measures are in addition to £1.1 billion further discretionary grant funding for local authorities, local restriction support grants worth up to £3000 a month and extension of furlough scheme until the end of April.

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

Mr 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."

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 Scottish Government will receive £375 million to distribute as part of the new measures announced.

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