In a joint press conference with the Prime Minister, the Chancellor, the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, labelled the coronavirus pandemic an ‘economic emergency’. The Chancellor said he will do ‘whatever it takes’ confirming that he will acquire new legal powers in the Covid Bill to offer further financial support.
The economic measures include:
- Any business who needs access to cash will be able to access a government-backed loan, on attractive terms.
- An extension to the Business Interruption Loan Scheme to provide loans of up to £5 million with no interest due for the first six months.
- Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will pay no business rates this year. These businesses will also be provided a cash grant of up to £25,000 to bridge through this period.
- The business rates holiday has been extended to all businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, irrespective of their rateable value.
- In the Budget the Chancellor announced he would be providing £3,000 cash grants to 700,000 of the smallest business. This has been increased to £10,000.
- Mortgage lenders will offer at least a three month mortgage holiday.
The Chancellor confirmed that for any business which has a policy that covers pandemics, the Government’s action is sufficient to allow businesses to make an insurance claim against their policy. He also said that in the coming days, he will go further to ‘support people’s financial security’.
The latest guidance from Public Health England and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for employers, employees and businesses can be found here.