To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to assist small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
23 February 2021
The Government has introduced an unprecedented and comprehensive package of business support measures to help as many individuals and businesses as possible during this difficult period.
As part of the Local Restrictions Support Grant (closed) (LRSG), business premises that are required by law to close during the current period of national restrictions since 5th January can access grants of up to £4,500 per 6 weeks of closure.
In addition to the LRSG, each closed business will be eligible for a one-off payment of up to £9,000 to help them through Spring.
Local Authorities in England have been allocated a further £500m in discretionary funding to support businesses that are significantly impacted by the restrictions even though not required to close. This is in addition to £1.1bn already allocated in November 2020. Local Authorities have discretion to use this funding to support businesses in the way they see fit.
Between March and September 2020, small businesses were supported through the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF), the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) and the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund (LADGF). As of 30th September, more than £11.6 billion has been dispersed to more than a million business premises across the three schemes. These schemes are now closed.
Devolved Administrations have received funding according to the Barnett formula to develop and administer grant schemes to support small businesses.
In addition to grant support, the Government has announced further measures which build on the existing business support package, including extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until the end of April 2021, extension of the Coronavirus Loan Guarantee schemes until 31 March 2021, and introduction of Pay As You Grow measures, meaning businesses now have the option to repay their Bounce Back Loans over a period of up to ten years.
As off 24 January 2021, BBLS has seen 1,471,001 loans approved worth £44.74 billion, and CBILS has seen 87,529 loans approved worth £20.84 billion.