FINANCIAL help will be increased for businesses who remain open but have been worst hit by local restrictions, being more generous to areas that have been under stricter measures for longer.

Lancashire was placed in a tier three lockdown on Saturday (October 17), leaving non-food pubs and bars, bingo halls, casinos, bookmakers, soft play areas, licensed clubs and adult gaming centres.

Local lockdowns have been in place across the county, with Blackburn with Darwen having been under tighter restrictions since June.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said the new job retention scheme plan would mean “jobs will be protected” as he also outlined a boost for the self-employed however he has said there are difficult days and weeks ahead.

He told the Commons: "Businesses that are not closed but face higher restrictions in places like Liverpool, Lancashire, South Yorkshire and Greater Manchester, as well as the devolved nations, will be able to access greater support.

"These changes mean more employers can access the scheme and more jobs will be protected."

The new Job Retention Scheme, which will replace furlough, will apply to businesses who are still open, however “job support scheme closed” for businesses legally required to close remains unchanged.

The chancellor said that pubs and restaurants who are still open in Lancashire would be eligible for the aid which requires an employee to work one day per week.

In a No 10 press conference he said: “Our plan for jobs will support British people and businesses wherever they live and whatever their situation,

“Just as we have throughout this crisis, we will listen and respond to people’s concerns as the circumstances evolve.”

When originally announced, the JSS saw employers paying a third of their employees’ wages for hours not worked, and required employees to be working 33% of their normal hours.

Today’s announcement reduces the employer contribution to those unworked hours to just 5%, and reduces the minimum hours requirements to 20%, so those working just one day a week will be eligible.

Employers will also receive the £1,000 job retention bonus.

He told the Commons: “Let me speak first to the people of Liverpool, Lancashire, South Yorkshire and Greater Manchester and indeed other areas moving into or already living under heightened health restrictions.

“I understand your frustration, people need to know this is not forever. These are temporary restrictions to help control the spread of the virus.

“There are difficult days and weeks ahead, but we will get through this together. People are not on their own. We have an economic plan that will protect the jobs and livelihoods of the British people wherever they live and whatever their situation.”

There was also an announcement increasing the profits covered by the two forthcoming self-employed grants from 20% to 40%, meaning the maximum grant will increase from £1,875 to £3,750.

The grants will be available retrospectively for areas who have already been subject to restrictions, and come on top of higher levels of additional business support for local authorities moving into tier 3 which, if scaled up across the country, would be worth more than £1bn.