Column by Thornbury and Yate MP Luke Hall.

The last eight months have been incredibly difficult in so many ways. Whilst the Government has helped thousands of people in South Gloucestershire to continue to provide for their families, along with many other countries around the world, we face a tough winter ahead.

That is why, as restrictions have gotten tougher, we are taking further steps to provide financial support to protect our local jobs and businesses.

Firstly, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended. This means that employees are receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. Businesses also have flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis or furlough them full-time. All local employers, small or large, charitable or non-profit, are all eligible for this extended furlough scheme.

Secondly, we have taken action to continue to provide support for the self-employed. The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme has been extended, in the form of two further grants, each available for 3-month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021.

Third, it has been announced that business premises forced to close in England are to receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant.

Fourth, £1.1bn is being given to Local Authorities, distributed on the basis of £20 per head of populaton, for one-off payments to enable them to support businesses more broadly. To find out more details visit

And finally, to give homeowners peace of mind too, mortgage holidays did not end as planned. Borrowers who have been impacted by coronavirus and have not yet had a mortgage payment holiday will be entitled to a six month holiday, and those that have already started a mortgage payment holiday will be able to top up to six months without this being recorded on their credit file.

Our priority remains to protect lives and livelihoods. We will do whatever it takes as the situation evolves.

We stood behind our local businesses and workers as we came into the crisis and I want to ensure people that we stand behind them as we come through the other side.

If any businesses would like to get in touch and share their feedback then please do not hesitate to get in touch with me at