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The government will introduce three new measures to help struggling businesses get through the winter and a second coronavirus spike, The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has today announced (October 22).

Businesses that have seen their trade drop as a result of the social restrictions in Tier 2 areas, which are classed as ‘High Risk’ coronavirus hotspots, will now be able to apply for cash grants.

Grants of up to £2,100 per month will be available to struggling businesses, even if they remain open. All cash grants will be backdated to August.

Grants for all self-employed workers will double to cover 40 per cent of previous earnings, up to a total of £3,750.

Employees will now have to do a minimum of 20 per cent, rather than a third, of their hours as part of changes to the Job Support Scheme.

Businesses will pay just 5 per cent towards employees’ wages for hours not worked if they’re enrolled on the scheme.

The government will cover 62 per cent of the wages for hours not worked, which more than doubles the maximum payment to £1,541.75 a month.

The Job Support Scheme is set to replace furlough from November 1.

Mr Sunak said: “I’ve always said that we must be ready to adapt our financial support as the situation evolves, and that is what we are doing today.

“These changes mean that our support will reach many more people and protect many more jobs

“I know that the introduction of further restrictions has left many people worried for themselves, their families and communities.

“I hope the government’s stepped-up support can be part of the country pulling together in the coming months.”

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