Hospitality businesses starting to receive coronavirus grants
High street businesses are beginning to receive one-off grants of £10,000 or £25,000 from the government's £33b support package.
All hospitality and leisure businesses are also exempt from business rates for 12 months from today.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: "High street businesses are at the core of what keeps our economy thriving.
"That is why we are taking the unprecedented step to provide businesses with the vital cash they need to ensure their survival during this difficult time, with 300 businesses having already received money in their accounts."
An early payment of £3.4b was made to local authorities on Friday and Westminster Council passed grants on to 300 businesses on Monday night. Every local authority has now received the full funding it requires.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, said: "These are, naturally, very concerning times for businesses in the hospitality sector. Ours was one of the first sectors to feel the significant impact of the crisis as customers began to avoid social gatherings.
"Cash flow is effectively at zero for many employers in hospitality, so we needed swift and significant support to ease the burden. The business rates holiday for our entire sector, the third largest in the country, will provide a substantial boost to businesses when they most need it.
"This will help many employers survive the crisis and should help put us in a position to begin rebuilding our industry, and the wider economy, once the current challenges have been met."
Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: "Many small businesses across England in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors alongside nurseries, estate and letting agents and bingo halls, will be very pleased that the one-year business rates holiday has started.
"This intervention, combined with the quick delivery of grants for those small businesses eligible for the expanded retail discount and the 700,000 small businesses in receipt of small business rates relief and rural rate relief, could be the difference between surviving this crisis or folding."
The chancellor has unveiled a package of support for businesses, including covering 80% of wages for furloughed staff, and said more will come if needed, however many have asked for clarity as to when funds will be received as they struggle with dwindling cash supplies.
Local authorities should contact all businesses eligible for the grants.
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