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High street benefits from £22 billion grants and business rates package

Wednesday April 1st, 2020

Thousands of high street firms are beginning to receive £25,000 cash grants and will be exempt from business rates from today (Wednesday 1st April 2020) – as they begin to benefit from a £22 billion package.Rushi Sunak

As part of a raft of unprecedented measures announced by the Chancellor to support those affected by the coronavirus outbreak, eligible properties, including those in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, will not pay business rates for the next 12 months. The measure comes into force today and will save firms in England £11 billion.

The smallest businesses in these sectors are also beginning to receive one off grants of either £10,000 or £25,000, with money landing in their bank accounts.

An early payment of £3.4 billion was made to local authorities last week (Friday 27th March 2020) to ensure grants would get to businesses as soon as possible. Westminster City Council paid grants to 300 businesses on Monday night. Every local authority in England has now received the full amount of grant funding they need to support their local businesses.

The business rates holiday, which also applies to England’s nurseries, forms part of the government’s economic response to Covid-19.

The rates relief and grants are in addition to the government’s wide-ranging support for the economy. This includes the government paying the wages of millions of employed and self-employed people by covering 80% of monthly incomes through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self Employment Income Support Scheme.

For devolved matters, including the business rates measures, the Devolved Administrations will receive funding under the Barnett formula to support businesses in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. So far the UK government has provided £5.3 billion of funding to the devolved administrations to support people, business and public services in response to Covid-19.

This includes over £2.7 billion for the Scottish Government, over £1.6 billion for the Welsh Government and £900 million for the Northern Ireland Executive.

Rishi Sunak commented:

“High street businesses are at the core of what keeps our economy thriving.

That is why we are taking the unprecedented step to provide businesses with the vital cash they need to ensure their survival during this difficult time, with 300 businesses having already received money in their accounts.”

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