Further steps to support businesses and workers:

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has just made a statement to the House of Commons regarding further support for business affected by the local Covid-alert restrictions. 

There is a link to further information here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/plan-for-jobs-chancellor-increases-financial-support-for-businesses-and-workers

He has announced 3 further steps to support businesses and workers:

  • New cash grant scheme for businesses impacted by tier 2 restrictions but not required to close. – to be distributed by local authorities.  The grants will be up to £2,100 per business per month for every month tier 2 restrictions apply and will be primarily for businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sector who have been adversely impacted by the restrictions in high-alert level areas.  The grants will be retrospective – grants for areas which have been under enhanced restrictions for some time will be backdated to August – this should apply to Blackburn.
  • Job Support schemes – there will be an extension of the Job Support scheme for businesses not legally required to close but impacted by restrictions – employees will need to work only 20% of normal hours (not 33%).  The employer contribution for hours not worked will be reduced to 5%, and the scheme will apply to eligible businesses in all alert levels. Employers will continue to receive the £1,000 Job Retention Bonus. The Job Support Scheme Closed for businesses legally required to close remains unchanged.
  • Self-Employment Income Support Scheme – the amount of support available in the next round of this scheme (November) will be doubled to 40% of people’s incomes up to £3,750.

The Government has announced an extension to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.


  • The extension will last for six months, from November 2020 to April 2021. Grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments each covering a three-month period.
  • The first grant will cover a three-month period from 1 November 2020 until 31 January 2021. The Government will provide a taxable grant covering 40% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £3,750 in total.
  • The Government are providing broadly the same level of support for the self-employed as is being provided for employees through the Job Support scheme.
  • The second grant will cover a three-month period from 1 February 2021 until 30 April 2021. The Government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.

We are still waiting on details of the enhanced support for businesses across Lancashire as a result of moving into tier 3 restrictions and I’ll keep you up to date with information about all of this support as soon as I can.

In the meantime this morning’s Ask the Experts: Live Q&A session in partnership with The Hive BwD and Blackburn with Darwen Council, supported by Blackburn BID and The Hive members has just closed. 

We’ve had some great questions and some really helpful answers.  Please have a look when you get chance, if you haven’t already done so: https://www.blackburnbid.co.uk/coronavirus-qa/

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