Rishi Sunak dishes out £9,000 lockdown cash but businesses could still close

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced that businesses in the hospitality sector will be able to apply for an additional one-off grant of up to £9,000 in the wake of the new lockdown.

It follows Boris Johnson’s message that businesses will be forced to close until at least February 15.

The cash will be provided on a per-property basis and come in addition to existing financial support provided by the government, as well as the furlough scheme.

Sunak said: “The new strain of the virus presents us all with a huge challenge, and while the vaccine is being rolled out, we have needed to tighten restrictions further.

“Throughout the pandemic we’ve taken swift action to protect lives and livelihoods and today we’re announcing a further cash injection to support businesses and jobs until the spring.

“This will help businesses to get through the months ahead – and crucially it will help sustain jobs, so workers can be ready to return when they are able to reopen.”

The Treasury is no doubt doing what it can with the resources available and in the perilous situation the country finds itself in (due to novice performances elsewhere in Government).

That said, all the restaurant and pub owners we’ve spoken to this week told us that while the support is welcome, it is not enough to sustain their closed businesses if the lockdown extends beyond a month or two due to contracts and other costs and, of course, rent.

What we really need is landlords to show a little more kindness was the prevailing message from hospitality…

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