Government announce additional measures to support businesses effected by COVID-19 Coronavirus
17 March 2020
In today’s Prime Minister’s COVID-19 Coronavirus statement, Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced a range of measures, in addition to those announced in the budget last week.
To assist with liquidity, the Chancellor announced a £330bn Government-backed guarantee for loans to help businesses who need access to cash. This can be accessed in two ways. For large businesses, a new fund has been agreed with the Governor of the Bank of England. For SME’s, the Business Interruption Loan Scheme, announced last week, will see an increase in the size of the loans available, up from £1.2m to £5m, with no interest to pay in the first 6 months. Both schemes will be up and running from next week.
The Chancellor is also pursuing a new legal power to unfetter his ability to continue to provide support to businesses.
In the coming days, a package to support the Air Travel Industry will be announced. Ministers are also discussing what other industries might require assistance from the Government.
For the hospitality sector, the Chancellor recognised the concern generated by yesterday’s announcement. He confirmed that, for those with Pandemic Insurance, the Government announcement would be sufficient to allow a business to make a claim against its policy.
For those without Pandemic Insurance, further measures were announced. The Business Rates holiday, announced last week, will be extended to all retail, leisure and hospitality businesses, regardless of the Rateable Value of their property, which means that no business in those sectors will pay Business Rates this financial year. For those who occupy a property with a Rateable Value of £51,000 or less, an additional grant scheme, which allows businesses to claim up to £25,000 will also be made available.
In the budget, a grant scheme providing up to £3,000 to the 700,000 smallest business was announced. This grant was increased to £10,000 today.
For individuals, a mortgage holiday of 3 months was announced for people struggling to make their mortgage payments as a result of COVID-19 Coronavirus.
The advice from Government is for those who live alone and have symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home for 7 days. If you live with others and you, or a member of your household has symptoms, you should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person in your household got ill.
The relevant symptoms are:
- A new and enduring cough, or
- A high temperature
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