These changes give businesses significant reassurance over an uncertain winter, but many will understandably still wish for the government to give a clearer view of the road ahead. Government must set out longer-term measures over the next 12 months to give firms greater certainty and confidence to plan proactively, rather than to react to changes in support from week to week.
As well as support on jobs, reduced demand will impact firms’ cashflow across the country, not just those placed under the toughest restrictions. More generous grants will be required if those businesses are to weather a difficult winter ahead.
Despite the Chancellor’s announcement, there are still many businesses and individuals who have, through no fault of their own, been unable to access any government support since the start of the pandemic and will require support if we are to avoid significant increases in unemployment and business failures.
Ultimately, there can be no substitute for a fully functioning economy. Fundamentally, that means the government using the time afforded to them through another lockdown to significantly improve the Test, Track and Isolate system, which remains key to keeping the economy open.
The additional economic and business support measures announced today are as follows:
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
Earlier today, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak MP announced a five-month extension of CJRS, also known as the furlough scheme. The CJRS will now run until the end of March 2021 with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked.
Find more information on:
The Job Support Scheme will not be introduced until after Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant extension
The SEISS grant was extended from 1 November 2020. Today, the Chancellor announced that support for millions more workers through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will be increased, with the third grant covering November to January calculated at 80% of average trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500. Find out if you are eligible and how much you can get.
As previously advised business premises forced to close in England due to local or national restrictions will be eligible for the business grants as outlined here.
Application deadlines have been extended to 31 January 2021 for the following schemes: