LOCKED down businesses which are forced to shut will be able to claim an extra £1,500 grant every three weeks, it was revealed today.
Pubs, restaurants and cafes which have been ordered to shut down will be able to claim for extra cash as a “safety net” to help them cope through local lockdowns.
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Yesterday hospitality businesses were told to shut down immediately in Bolton after a huge rise in cases.
The northern town reached 120 cases per 100,000 over the last seven days, and the rates risked spiralling out of control.
Businesses can claim £1,500 for every three weeks they are required to shut – and smaller firms can claim £1,000.
But it won’t cover any venues which are shut on a national level like nightclubs, meaning it’s unclear what help there would be if there was another nationwide shutdown.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said today: “No business should be punished for doing the right thing, which is why today’s package will offer additional breathing space for businesses that have had to temporarily close to control the virus.
“Through our wider Plan for Jobs, we will continue to back our innovators and job creators across the country who are playing a critical role as we build back better from the pandemic.”
And Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay added: “These grants provide businesses with a safety net as they temporarily close their doors to help save lives in their local areas.”
The news comes as businesses had to start paying 10 per cent of their employees’ furlough cash this month.
They will need to folk out 20 per cent next month, and then the scheme will wrap up at the end of October.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has vowed not to extend the furlough scheme, saying it wouldn’t be right to carry on paying people’s wages forever.
At the moment the Government is paying furloughed employees’ wages up to 80 per cent – or £2,500 a month.
But this week HMRC revealed that up to £3.5billion of the claimed cash could have been fraudulent.