To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that small businesses can access COVID-19 financial support schemes.
25 January 2021
Throughout this crisis, the government has sought to protect people’s jobs and livelihoods while also supporting businesses and public services across the UK. To do this, the government has put in place an economic package of support which will provide businesses and individuals with certainty over the coming months, even as measures to prevent further spread of the virus change. The government has spent over £280 billion this year to provide this support.
In response to the latest restrictions, the Chancellor announced further support to businesses on top of those adopted at the Covid-19 Winter Plan and our previous economic responses. These support measures are carefully designed to complement each other to ensure we protect jobs and livelihoods. This support includes a new one-off grant of up to £9,000 to support businesses in England which are legally required to close. This comes in addition to the existing monthly grants for closed businesses of up to £3,000 per month. Local authorities will also receive an additional £500m, to a total of £1.6bn, of discretionary funding to allow them to support their local businesses.
In order to support businesses to retain their employees and protect the UK economy, the Chancellor has extended both the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) until the end of April 2021. HMRC have supported businesses to access the CJRS by communicating directly with employers, running over 400 live webinars, and ensuring that online support via gov.uk is updated regularly.
Businesses have also received billions in loans, tax deferrals, Business Rate reliefs, and general and sector-specific grants. And individuals and families have benefited from increased welfare payments, enhanced statutory sick pay, a stay on repossession proceedings and mortgage holidays.