Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said local authorities will be handing out grants worth up to £9,000 to businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector, in a move designed to help them survive until the spring.
The grants are part of a £4.6 billion package of measures to help struggling firms after the latest lockdowns were announced for England and Scotland.
Business rates relief and the furlough scheme have been extended until the end of April.
Mr Sunak said the new support will “help businesses to get through the months ahead and, crucially, it will help sustain jobs so workers can be ready to return when they are able to reopen”.
For any store forced to close, the grants will be £4,000 for premises with a rateable value of £15,000 or under, £6,000 for those worth between £15,000 and £51,000, and £9,000 for properties valued at over £51,000.
The Treasury said the latest measures were in addition to a further £1.1bn in discretionary grant funding, plus grants worth up to £3,000 a month for closed businesses and £2,100 a month for affected firms once they have reopened.