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Source: City of Wakefield

​The Leader of Wakefield Council has welcomed the new financial package for businesses but says government support does not go far enough.

​The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak has announced changes to the Job Support Scheme (JSS) – set to replace furlough in November, with the government increasing funding for wages from 55 percent to 62 percent for businesses that can show the pandemic has impacted on their finances.

The change is aimed at addressing the gap in support for businesses in tier two restrictions, but is available across the UK.

Cllr Denise Jeffery, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: “Additional support is much needed at this time, with cases of the virus rising it is extremely challenging for businesses, particularly those in the hospitality and leisure sectors. This package is a step in the right directions but does not go far enough and I am concerned it will not prevent hardship for people on low incomes. Businesses still have rent and property related costs to pay and the grants only cover a small proportion of this.

“We’ll be doing everything within our control to support business to work with HMRC to access the funding as quickly as possible.

“The Council will continue to do all that we can to support our local businesses and residents during the pandemic, and will carry on working with our partners as we continue our commitment to steer the district’s economic recovery.”

The chancellor also announced specific help for hospitality and leisure businesses in tier two areas – which is where the Wakefield district is currently placed.

With the new agreement, English councils will be funded to give monthly grants of up to £2,100 to 150,000 hotels, restaurants and B&Bs.

Added Cllr Jeffery: “The Council will continue to support businesses in the hospitality sector and we are working hard to ensure we can distribute the grants as soon as possible. We will lobby the government to ensure that businesses gets all the support they need to survive, recover and thrive again – at any level of the government’s tiers.”

In addition, the self-employment scheme has also been doubled from 20% to 40% of profits, with a maximum grant now of £3,750 a month.

For information please visit https://www.wakefield.gov.uk/about-the-council/staying-safe/supporting-business  or call Wakefield First on 01924 306630 to find out what the announcement means for you and your business.

MIL OSI United Kingdom