New Covid lockdown grants and mortgage holidays announced

31st October 2020

On 31 October 2020 and confirmed on 2 November, the government announced the following financial help for businesses and individuals to coincide with a new lockdown for England starting on 5 November.

The government issued updated guidance to local authorities on business grants on 3 November 2020.

Business Grants

Businesses required to close in England due to local or national restrictions will be eligible for the following:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2000 per month, or £1000 per two weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3000 per month, or £1500 per two weeks.

Local Authorities in England will also receive one off funding of £1.1 billion to support businesses more broadly over the coming months, as a key part of local economies. They can use this at their discretion.

This will be distributed to local authorities on the basis of c.£20/head of population, so Some of this funding has already been provided to local areas that entered into Tier 3.

Backdated cash grants for businesses in Tier 2/3 areas:

Businesses in hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors that have been suffering from reduced demand for a while will receive backdated grants at 70% of the value of closed grants up to a maximum of £2,100 per four weeks for this period.

Distributions will be made to Local Authorities, giving them the cover they need to start making distributions and funding in the following weeks.

More funding for Local Authorities to support their local healthcare response

Up to £500m will be provided to local councils for local public health initiatives e.g. additional contact tracing, testing for hard-to-reach groups and communications

A number of English Local Authorities have already received funding from the Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF) to support local public health initiatives.

All Upper Tier Local Authorities are now entitled to the maximum of £8 per head of population from the COMF, inclusive of what might already have been paid (including to lower-tier and combined authorities in their areas).

There is additional funding to local authorities to support Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people.

Over £32 million is being given to local authorities to enable them to provide support to Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people who need it, including helping people to access food and meeting other support needs to enable them to stay at home as much as possible for the 28 day period that the restrictive advice is in force. Funding is weighted by the number of those Clinically Extremely Vulnerable who live within the local authority boundaries.

Mortgage and consumer credit payment holiday extension

Mortgage payment holidays will continue to be available for homeowners.

Borrowers who have been impacted by Covid-19 and have not yet had a mortgage payment holiday will be entitled to a 6 month holiday, and those that have already started a mortgage payment holiday will be able to top up to 6 months without this being recorded on their credit file. The FCA will announce further information on this shortly.

Payment holidays will also continue to be available for consumer credit products such as personal loans and car finance. As with mortgages, borrowers impacted by Covid-19 who have not yet taken a payment holiday on that product will be able to top up to 6 months without this being recorded on their credit file.

Borrowers with high-cost short-term credit products such as payday loans will continue to be entitled to a maximum month payment holiday. The FCA will announce further information on this shortly.

Check out our Business after COVID-19: Transition Knowledge Hub for more guidance and advice on managing the pandemic.

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