Businesses required to close due to COVID-19: further support offered

Published: Tuesday 13 October 2020

With three tiers of lockdown levels announced, inevitably more businesses will be required to close their doors, once again, depending on the local measures imposed. 

In recognition of this, the Government has announced a new package of support measures for those affected businesses.

Job support scheme

The Chancellor has announced an extension to the job support scheme for those businesses required to close by the Government, as a result of COVID-19, as part of local or national lockdown measures. 

Under the expanded scheme, the Government will pay 67% of an employee’s salary, capped at £2,100 per month. The employer will not be required to contribute to the employee’s wage and will only need to cover the associated employer’s NIC and pension contribution costs. 

The scheme commences on 1 November 2020 and will run for six months. Those affected prior to 1 November will be able to claim under the coronavirus job retention scheme.

In order to qualify, the employee must have been furloughed for at least seven consecutive days. It is assumed that this time period will include weekends, as with the existing furlough scheme. As with the new job support scheme, the payment will be made monthly in arrears and will be claimed via an online HMRC service.

If the business does not qualify under the expanded scheme, they may still be able to access funding for part of their employees’ wages under the original job support scheme. Further details of this scheme can be found here.

Cash grants

Cash grants of up to £3,000 per month will also be available to businesses legally required to close.

This is an increase from the previous grant of up to £1,500 claimable for a three-week period. The grant has now also been extended to those businesses forced to close due to a local lockdown, whereas previously it was only available to closures on a national basis.

The value of the grant received will depend on the rateable value of the business as follows:

Rateable value of property

Grant payable (per month)

Less than £15,000

£1,334

Between £15,001 and £51,000

£2,000

Over £51,000

£3,000

Grants are payable in two-week blocks and can be first requested after two weeks from the date the business was closed.

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Nick Haines
Nick Haines
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