Coronavirus update: Chancellor announces emergency measures to support businesses

March 17, 2020

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled an emergency £330bn package to support businesses during the coronavirus crisis.

Mr Sunak, pictured, said the move was equivalent to 15% of the UK’s GDP and added that if demand was greater than the initial £330bn he would go further and provide as much capacity as required. 

Measures include:

  • Any business that needs access to cash will be able to access a government-backed loan, on attractive terms.
  • An extension of the new Business Interruption Loan Scheme announced in last week’s Budget to provide loans of up to £5m – instead of £1.2m – with
    no interest due for the first six months.
  • On top of the year-long business rates ‘holiday’ for firms in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with rateable values of less than £51,000m – also announced in the Budget – these businesses can also receive an additional cash grant of up to £25,000.
  • The business rates holiday will be extended to all businesses in those sectors, irrespective of rateable value.
  • Increase in grants announced in the Budget for 700,000 of the country’s smallest businesses from £3,000 to £10,000 to support cashflow.

Mr Sunak said further measures to help businesses and individuals would be announced in the next few days.


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