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Grant Funding and Support for SMEs in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Sectors  

As we enter Lockdown 3.0, stress levels have once again escalated for business owners from our most adversely effected industry sectors of Retail, Hospitality and Leisure. However, this time both the British Government and Local Authorities will introduce even greater measures to support SMEs from these sectors to ensure that local businesses are able to survive the economic pressure of the pandemic and emerge prepared and equipped for financial recovery in the aftermath.  

In this article we will explore an overview of the current lockdown, followed by details of the support available to vulnerable businesses from adversely effected industry sectors and how Skills for Growth – SME Support can assist you further during this difficult time. 


Lockdown 3.0 
  • Outdoor leisure and sports facilities are now required to close. This includes gyms, pools, sports courts, golf courses, archery/driving/shooting ranges (outdoors) and outdoor riding arenas at riding centres. 
  • You must stay at home unless you have a reasonable excuse and this will now be put into law, meaning that failure to comply could lead to fines of up to a maximum of £6,400 for multiple offenders. 
  • You may only leave your home for work if you cannot reasonably work from home. 
  • Shielding measures have been strongly advised for clinically extremely vulnerable individuals.  
  • Employees can be furloughed if they are unable to work, including from home or working reduced hours because they have caring responsibilities resulting from Coronavirus, such as caring for children who are at home as a result of school and childcare facilities closing, or caring for a vulnerable individual in their household. More information can be found here. 


You can find the official government guidance here and further reading via the GC Business Growth Hub website here. 


Funding and Grants 

To support businesses during the national lockdown, the Chancellor has announced: 

  • one-off top up grants worth up to £9,000 per property for businesses required to close (this includes retail, hospitality and leisure) in line with the national restrictions as of 5th January 2021. The following will be administered by local authorities: 
  • £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under 
  • £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000 
  • £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000 

*The rateable value is based on the first full day of restrictions 

  • Businesses required to close due to national restrictions may also be eligible for a cash grant from their local council for each 28-day period of national restrictions. This includes all non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities and hospitality services. 
  • Cash grants for eligible businesses through local councils for each 28-day period of national restrictionsBusinesses can apply for one grant for each property and will need to make separate applications for each of their properties. 
  • £1334 per 28-day period for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under 
  • £2000 per 28-day period for businesses with a rateable value of over £15,000 but less than £51,000 
  • £3000 per 28-day period for businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or above 

*The rateable value is based on the first full day of restrictions 

  • A further £549 million will be made available for local authorities and the Devolved Administrations to support businesses not ineligible for other grants but which may still be affected by the restriction, known as the Additional Restrictions Grant 
  • Businesses can apply for one grant for each property and will need to make separate applications for each of their properties. 
  • Bars and pubs affected by restrictions are still eligible for a grant under the LRSG (Closed) Addendum even if they choose to operate as a takeaway, click and collect or online with delivery service during this time.  


Full eligibility criteria is available through the government website, or you can visit your local council’s website to apply for grants. 


Further support 

Skills for Growth – SME Support offers a huge variety of services to assist businesses during this time, including exploring all funding options available to your business. Our skills coaches and specialists are on hand to receive all your questions and concerns and offer impartial advice and guidance in returnand to work closely with you to develop a personalised development plan through our fully-funded service, incorporating not only the plethora of benefits available through our programme, but from across the entirety of The Growth Company. 


If you are in need of support or are ready to start exploring our services, give us a call on 0161 237 4444. Or, for more advice and resources in relation to the Coronavirus pandemic and it’s effects on your business, visit GC Business Growth Hub here. 


The Growth Company is an award-winning, not-for-profit social enterprise with a mission to enable growth, create jobs and improve lives. We provide individuals and businesses with a wide range of services that improve employment, skills, investment and enterprise for the benefit of all, and have been working in the Greater Manchester city region for more than 30 years. 

This project receives funding from the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England.  

The Department for Work and Pensions is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme.  

Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit 

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Skills for Growth - SME Support

Skills for Growth - SME Support

Skills for Growth - SME Support is a fully funded, tailored service to help upskills your employees and improve business productivity. We're here to help you grow your business through re-shaping, developing your talent and enhancing your team's performance.