The British Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced unprecedented support for business and workers – to protect against the economic emergency caused by the coronavirus. This includes unlimited loans and guarantees to support firms and help them manage cashflows through this period. The Chancellor will make available an initial £330 billion of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of UK GDP.

At last week’s Budget, the Chancellor provided £30 billion of support to the economy to deal with the crisis by investing in public services, increasing support for vulnerable people and providing business with tax reliefs and loans.

He said he would take further action as the situation evolved and today outlines further measures including:

To ensure that businesses have access to the funds they need, the government is providing:

  • support for liquidity amongst large firms, with a major new scheme being launched by the Bank of England to help them bridge Coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • increasing the amount businesses can borrow through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme from £1.2 million to £5 million, and ensuring businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest-free, as Government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments

Including new legal powers in the Covid Bill enabling us to offer whatever further financial support we think necessary to businesses – the Chancellor added.

Providing £20 billion of business rates support and grant funding to help the most-affected firms manage their cashflow through this period by:

  • giving all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England a 100% business rates holiday for the next 12 months
  • increasing grants to small businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief from £3,000 to £10,000
  • providing further £25,000 grants to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000

We will do whatever it takes to protect our people and businesses from the effects of this global economic emergency brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic. The interventions I am setting out today will help support businesses of all sizes – so they can continue operating during these unprecedented times – the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said

The action announced means that over £3.5 billion in additional funding will be provided to the devolved administrations for support to businesses in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Photo: Piqsels

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