Government Support to Business
The key measures – as at 19th March 2020
of all sizes will have access to a £330 billion package of
Government-backed loans and guarantees. The Chancellor said he would go
further and provide “as much capacity as is required”. This will be
delivered through two streams, both of which will be up and running for
the start of next week:
- A new lending facility to provide “low cost, easily accessible” loans for the largest businesses.
- Extending the new Business Interruption Loan Scheme for SMEs to £5 million with no interest for the first six months.
- The business rates holiday announced in the Budget for companies in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors is also being extended to all businesses in those sectors, irrespective of rateable value (meaning that every single business in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector will pay no business rates whatsoever for 12 months, and if they have a rateable value of less than £51,000, they can now get a cash grant of £25,000 as well).
- He also confirmed that Government advice to avoid pubs, clubs and theatres etc is sufficient for businesses to claim on their insurance where they have appropriate business interruption cover for pandemics in place.
- Also announced last week was that the Government would be providing £3,000 grants to 700,000 of the smallest businesses. These are now being increased to £10,000.
- Following discussions with industry, mortgage lenders will offer a three-month mortgage holiday to those affected by the virus.
- A specific support package is under discussion with the Transport Secretary for airlines and airports, and additional measures may be introduced for other sectors.
- To support the food industry and help provide meals for people who need to self-isolate, the Government will relax planning regulations to allow pubs and restaurants to provide takeaways without a planning application.
- Further steps will be announced in the coming days to support individuals’ financial security. The Chancellor said that he will be working with trade unions and businesses to urgently develop new forms of employment support to help protect people’s jobs and incomes through this period.