UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced that local firms told to shut down due to Coronavirus restrictions will get two-thirds of staff salaries paid by the Government.
The scheme will commence on 1 November at an expected cost of hundreds of millions of pounds each month.
The news comes as the UK braces for further restrictions that could force pubs and restaurants to close in Coronavirus hotspots, which may include Council areas in West Yorkshire.
Local business leaders have led calls for further assistance for struggling businesses, but the latest initiative will only benefit those who have been formally told to close by the new rules – and not those who’ve decided to close due to broader difficulties.
The initiative will be reviewed in the new year and businesses can continue to use the furlough scheme until it is ended in November.
The grants will be paid up to a maximum of £2,100 per employee every month in an effort to protect jobs and enable businesses to re-open with fewer issues when restrictions are relaxed.
Chancellor Sunak hopes the measures will provide a much-needed safety net for businesses, including those operating across Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield, ahead of the winter months.
Businesses in England may also apply for an increased Grant of up to £3,000 a month.
Business lobbyist Carolyn Fairbairn welcomed the news, but warned: “Many firms, including pubs and restaurants, will still be hugely disappointed if they have to close their doors again after doing so much to keep customers and staff safe.”
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