Hospitality businesses in Altrincham will be able to claim thousands of pounds in grants after the Chancellor announced an enhanced support package today.
Revealing a new raft of measures in the House of Commons this lunchtime, Rishi Sunak said he was introducing a new grant scheme for businesses impacted by Tier 2 restrictions – even if they weren’t forced to close.
Every business premises in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors will now receive a direct grant worth up to £2,100 for every month in Tier 2.
Although Greater Manchester moves under Tier 3 restrictions tomorrow, the region has effectively been under Tier 2 restrictions since July 30th.
Sunak has made the grants retrospective, and businesses throughout Greater Manchester will be able to backdate their grants to August.
He told MPs: “First, I am introducing a new grant scheme for businesses impacted by Tier 2 restrictions, even if they aren’t legally closed.
“We will fund local authorities to provide businesses in their area with direct cash grants.
“It will be up to local authorities to decide how best to distribute these grants, giving them the necessary flexibility to respond to local economic circumstances.
“But I am providing enough funding to give every businesses premises in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors a direct grant worth up to £2,100 for every month Tier 2 restrictions apply.
“That is equivalent to 70% of the value of the grants available for closed businesses in Tier 3.”
There was also better news for self-employed workers – the size of the grant they will be able to access will also be doubled to £3,750, with the amount of average profits they can claim for rising from 20% to 40%.
And there will be changes to the Job Support Scheme, for companies experiencing lower demand for their services due to the coronavirus crisis.
Employees will now only need to work 20% of their normal hours, instead of the original 33%, to be eligible.
The government will also significantly reduce the amount employers have to contribute, from 33% to 5%.
In response, Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds was less impressed by the measures.
“For months we have urged the Chancellor to get ahead of the looming unemployment crisis and act to save jobs,” she said.
“Instead, we’ve had a patchwork of poor ideas rushed out at the last minute.”
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham questioned “why on earth” the measures hadn’t been put before him and other local leaders in the region when talks with the government over a support package had broken down on Tuesday.
He said: “Honestly, can barely believe what I’m reading here.
“Why on earth was this not put on the table on Tuesday to reach an agreement with us? I said directly to the PM that a deal was there to be done if it took into account the effects on GM businesses of three months in Tier 2.”