Grahame Morris MP asked Minister Zahawi about support for businesses under tier 2 restrictions in this morning’s questions to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Mr Morris asked the Minister, ‘What assessment he has made of the availability of the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) to businesses in areas under tier 2 covid-19 restrictions?’

Minister Zahawi replied, ‘Businesses in tier 2 that are required to close can access payments of up to £1500 per 14 days of closure. We are giving additional financial support of £1.1bn to local authorities to support other businesses severely affected by restrictions, even though open.’

The Easington MP went on to ask about the application process for these grants, as well as those still available to be claimed by businesses retrospectively. He said, ‘It is essential that the Local Restrictions Support Grant is available promptly to businesses, and is not subject to a prolonged application process. In anticipation of some areas – hopefully my own area in the North East – moving into tier 2 this week, will the Secretary of State ensure grants are paid quickly to businesses, including those retrospective grants, particularly to pubs?’

Minister Zahawi replied, ‘The Local Restrictions Support Grant, additional restriction grants, and Christmas support payments are all available now for businesses through their local authority. I know the Secretary of State takes his responsibilities very seriously and throughout this whole process back in March he made sure all of his ministers talked to local government to ensure that we do get those payments out promptly.’

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