UK business leaders have called for more state aid to be made available to prevent firms from collapsing.

The local and national economy faces renewed challenges following last night’s announcement of a third national lockdown.

The new rules require people to remain at home and will see non-essential shops forced to close their doors.

Businesses have also been asked to ensure all staff work from home where possible to help contain the spread of coronavirus following a rise in cases recorded over the Christmas and New Year period.

The third national lockdown is expected to have a significant impact on businesses throughout Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield, with firms in the hospitality sector, such as pubs and restaurants, set to be hit hardest.

And business leaders have expressed their concern surrounding a lack of fresh support for businesses.

CBI Business Group director general Tony Danker, said: “The comprehensive restrictions required a new comprehensive response.

“We’ve seen lockdowns before, we know what impact they have.

“It was always about building a recovery and we need to put the final pieces in place.”

Danker has warned that firms which did not receive further financial support, such as VAT payment deferrals, could be forced to cut jobs prematurely.

British Chambers of Commerce director general Adam Marshall echoed the views of the CBI Business Group, expressing his “disappointment” that the Prime Minister did not announce additional support for affected businesses as part of his address to the nation yesterday evening.

Marshall said: “Companies are baffled and disappointed by the fact that he did not particularise additional support for affected businesses alongside these new restrictions.”

In an update delivered this morning, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced that businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure will receive new grants to help them keep afloat until Spring.

The grants will be worth £9,000 per property, the Treasury says.

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