25 Feb 2024

Further business support following announcement of lockdown #3

Further financial support for businesses has been unveiled today (Tuesday 5 January) by Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, hot on the heels of the imposition of a third national lockdown for England last night by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last night (Monday 4 January).

While garages can remain open as before, many hospitality and non-essential retail businesses have been forced to close again. With this in mind, £4.6 billion in grants is being made available, with individual firms eligible to take up to £9,000 each.

Commenting on the additional grants, the Chancellor commented: “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.”

Last month, it was announced that the Furlough scheme was being extended until 30 April.

Among the businesses that are being required to shut are car showrooms. Commenting on the latest bricks-and-mortar shutdown for the franchised sector, NFDA Chief Executive Sue Robinson said: “

“Although showrooms have to close during the lockdown, franchised dealers have been demonstrating their ability to adapt, providing click-and-collect services to their customers in a safe and compliant manner. This cannot fully replace the traditional buying experience, but will offset some of the challenges over the coming months.”

Other automotive businesses are being allowed to remain open along with independent garages though. While hand car washes will need to close, automated car washes will be able to stay open.

Brian Madderson, Chairman of the Car Wash Association (CWA), observed: “We are pleased that the government restrictions previously advised with Tier 4 regulations are unchanged, such that ACWs can continue to open.  A vehicle with clean windows and mirrors definitely improves road safety, especially in these dark and dirty winter months. This is so important for essential workers, including NHS and all other medical staff.”

Across the UK, Scotland and Northern Ireland have also entered national lockdowns, while Wales’ pre-existing restrictions continue.