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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case GB-2021-2/1703 – measures in United Kingdom

Businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure sectors to receive one-off lockdown grants

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors to receive one-off lockdown grants

Country United Kingdom , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 05 January 2021 – 03 March 2021
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Direct subsidies (full or partial)
Author Claire Evans (Warwick University) and Eurofound
Case created 11 January 2021 (updated 20 January 2021)

Background information

Following the announcement of another national lockdown on the 5 January, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the provision of one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, worth up to GBP 9,000 per property, designed to help businesses through to the Spring. As these businesses will be closed until at least mid-February, the loans are intended to help them through the coming months. A GBP 594 million discretionary fund has also been made available to support other impacted businesses

Content of measure

The grants will be provided on a per-property basis to support businesses through the latest restrictions, and are expected to benefit over 600,000 business properties, worth GBP 4 billion in total across all nations of the UK. A further GBP 594 million is also being made available for Local Authorities and the Devolved Administrations of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, to support other businesses not eligible for the grants, that might be affected by the restrictions. Businesses should apply to their Local Authorities.

These one-off top-ups will be granted to closed businesses as follows:

GBP 4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of GBP 10,000 or under GBP 6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between GBP 15,000 and GBP 51,000 GBP 9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over GBP 51,000

Any business which is legally required to close, and which cannot operate effectively remotely, is eligible for a grant.

Business support is a devolved policy and therefore the responsibility of the devolved administrations, which will receive additional funding as a result of these announcements in the usual manner: The Scottish Government will receive GBP 375 million; the Welsh Government will receive GBP 227 million and the Northern Ireland Executive will receive GBP 127 million.

Use of measure

No data available as this is a new measure announced in accordance with the latest national lockdown. It is expected that 600,000 business properties will benefit.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Sector specific set of companies
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Unknown


Given the lack of formal dialogue institutions in the UK, the role of the social partners in design of the measure is not known. It can be assume that the major employer bodies have been informally consulted with but there are no details in the public domain.

Views and reactions

No detail available but it can be assumed that there is broad support for a measure which aims to ensure business continuity,

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      G - Wholesale And Retail Trade; Repair Of Motor Vehicles And Motorcycles G47 Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles
      I - Accommodation And Food Service Activities I55 Accommodation
      I56 Food and beverage service activities
      R - Arts, Entertainment And Recreation R90 Creative, arts and entertainment activities
      R91 Libraries, archives, museums and other cultural activities
      R92 Gambling and betting activities
      R93 Sports activities and amusement and recreation activities

This case is not occupation-specific.


  • 05 January 2021: £4.6 billion in new lockdown grants to support businesses and protect jobs (


Eurofound (2021), Businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure sectors to receive one-off lockdown grants , case GB-2021-2/1703 (measures in United Kingdom), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.