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Retail Trade: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 3898, tabled on 19 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans his Department has to support the recovery of the retail sector from the impact of the covid-19 outbreak in (a) Coventry, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England.

Answered on

28 May 2021

To support retailers and provide flexibility as they reopen, we have extended opening hours for retail, Monday through Saturday from 7am to 10pm until the 21st of June.

We are providing Restart Grants of up to £6,000 for non-essential retailers, and it is expected that over 450,000 non-essential retail businesses across the UK will benefit. Overall, Coventry has been awarded £13,572,540 in Restart Grants.

Government will continue to provide eligible retail properties in England with 100% business rates relief from 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021. This will be followed by 66% business rates relief for the period from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022, capped at £2 million per business for properties that were required to be closed on 5 January 2021, or £105,000 per business for other eligible properties.

We have extended the moratorium on commercial landlords’ right to forfeiture for the non-payment of rent to the end of June 2021.

Local authorities have been allocated a further £425m in discretionary funding via the Additional Restrictions Grant to support businesses that are significantly impacted by the restrictions even though not required to close. For example, this could include businesses which supply the retail sector. This means more than £2bn has been made available to local authorities since November 2020.

We are also providing a £56m Welcome Back Fund to help councils prepare for the safe and successful reopening of our high streets and seaside resorts. Councils can use the fund to not only improve the look and feel of their high streets, but to run publicity campaigns and hold events that will boost footfall and encourage people back into high streets, thereby supporting local businesses. Coventry has been awarded £334,308 from the Fund.