What business support is available during UK lockdown 2?

Non-essential businesses will be forced to close from Thursday 5 November to Wednesday 2 December

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On Saturday, prime minister Boris Johnson announced the sequel nobody asked for: UK Lockdown 2.

From this Thursday, all non-essential businesses will be forced to close their doors until at least 2 December.

That means only the following businesses will be allowed to remain open:

  • Food shops and supermarkets
  • Garden centres
  • Other retailers providing essential goods

However, non-essential retail can still offer delivery and click-and-collect, and restaurants, bars, and pubs can still offer takeaway services. However, takeaway alcohol will not be allowed.

It’s a major blow to the UK’s small businesses, many of which were just getting back on their feet following months of closure.

Fortunately, there will be some financial support available to any businesses forced to shut up shop as a result of lockdown.

Business grants

The value of grant available to you depends on the rateable value of your property.

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under, grants will be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks
  • For properties with a rateable value of between £15,000-£51,000 grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

The CJRS, which had been due to end on 31 October, has been extended for another month.

This means the government will continue to cover up to 80% of a furloughed worker’s wages, up to a maximum of £2,500, and employers will only pay National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions for the hours the employee does not work.

The CJRS will be replaced by the Job Retention Scheme (JRS) in December.

The JRS enables employers to bring furloughed workers back on a part time basis, and will only ask them to cover National insurance and employer pension contributions.

Mortgage holidays

Mortgage holidays, which had been due to end on Sunday 1 November, will continue.

If you’ve impacted by coronavirus but have not yet had a mortgage payment holiday, you’ll be entitled to a six month holiday.

If you’ve already started your mortgage holiday, you’ll be able to top it up to six months without this being on your credit file.

On gov.uk, chancellor Rishi Sunak said:

“Over the past eight months of this crisis we have helped millions of people to continue to provide for their families. But now – along with many other countries around the world – we face a tough winter ahead.

“I have always said that we will do whatever it takes as the situation evolves. Now, as restrictions get tougher, we are taking steps to provide further financial support to protect jobs and businesses. These changes will provide a vital safety net for people across the UK.”

Written by:
Henry Williams headshot
Henry has been writing for Startups.co.uk since 2015, covering everything from business finance and web builders to tax and red tape. He’s also acted as project lead on many of our industry-renowned annual indexes, including Startups 100 and Business Ideas, and created a number of the site’s popular how to guides.
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