With the country in lockdown for a third time, the British government has offered additional help to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors to survive these troubled times and sustain jobs. Companies in this sector can claim one-off grants to the tune of 9,000 pounds to help sustain their businesses. Earlier, Finance minister Rishi Sunak had released emergency aid in the form of 289 billion pounds, along with a job protection scheme that will apply till the end of April, 2021.
The entire financial aid will cost the British government about four billion pounds in total, which includes 600 million pounds of grants for other businesses. About 4.6 billion pounds have been offered as support to businesses to help tide over the crisis.
The latest aid is expected to help workers survive and hold on to their jobs till they are able to return to work.
Britain’s prime minister announced the lockdown on January 4, due to the highly contagious coronavirus variant that has been discovered in the country. Most people are to work from home and all hospitality and non-essential outlets are to remain closed.
Most people must work from home and schools have closed for almost all pupils. Hospitality venues must stay shut, as well as non-essential shops. This means, the country is headed back to a recession mode.
Britain’s economy now looks likely to tip back into recession – shrinking in the final quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021 – after suffering a record 25% fall in in output in the first two months of lockdown in 2020.
Despite all this financial aid from the government, experts believe that it will not be enough to save many organisations and businesses from shutting down for good.