Small retail businesses are being offered up to £3,000 each by the Government to upgrade their security measures.
The £5m Retail Crime Action Plan includes cash for alarm systems, metal grills and similar anti-theft devices and banknote-testing kits.
Home Office minister Alan Campbell said: “Small businesses play a vital role in our communities, and I am determined to ensure that small businesses are not taken advantage of during these hard economic times, by providing real support where it is most needed.
“We are providing real help to businesses with a £5 million fund to pay for improved security in the places it is most needed.
“The Government is committed to working with industry and police to tackle the crimes that affect them such as shoplifting, anti-social behaviour and robbery, particularly during this economic downturn, where certain crimes will face upward pressure.”