The beginning of 2021 started as many predicted with England having been put into a full national lockdown. On the 4 January Boris Johnson announced that due to the second strain of the virus, and the increasing pressure being felt by the NHS and raising the alert level to five, the country required more stringent restrictions and announced a ‘stay at home’ by law message.
All non-essential retail, leisure facilities and schools will be shut until at least mid-February, but many expect a strict lockdown environment until March. Understanding the ramifications of the decision on the UK economy, on the 5 January, the Chancellor announced a further £4bn in Government support.
Retail, hospitality and leisure are possibly the sectors hit the hardest and experiencing the most drawn-out impact during the pandemic. January – March are often the hardest months for these sectors, but couple that with them being forced to close and the reduced capacity for many during 2020, cash flow was expected to be a concern.
The chancellor announced there would be one-off grants of up to £9k available to businesses in these sectors. The grants are per property, meaning those with more than one outlet would benefit further. The amount of the grant depends on your properties rateable value:
- Businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under – £4,000
- Businesses with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 – £6,000
- Businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000 – £9,000
Businesses must have been forced to close by law. The grants are in addition to the Local Restrictions Support grants which have also had an additional £594m added to their availability.
It is expected that the local authorities will administer the funds, and businesses will be required to apply for the grants.
The aim being that these one-off payments, coupled with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and rates holidays, will support businesses to trade through quarter one and into the spring when hopefully the vaccine rollout will be having an impact, and the brighter weather supports the sectors.
Price Bailey have a large amount of experience in managing difficult trading environments, across a number of sectors. If you feel that a discussion with one of our team would be beneficial at this time we would happily support. This article was written by Matt Hector who can be contacted to arrange an appointment or for any further information.
We always recommend that you seek advice from a suitably qualified adviser before taking any action. The information in this article only serves as a guide and no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of this material can be accepted by the authors or the firm.