The government has announced emergency measures to support UK businesses through the Coronavirus pandemic, with a particular focus on the retail, leisure and hospitality industries. These are as follows:
Larger firms will be provided with low cost, easily accessible commercial loans equivalent to 15% GDP
Small businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000 that aren’t insured will receive an additional cash grant of up to £25,000 per business. This will be done at scale to their rateable value.
Development of employment support to help businesses pay their employee’s salaries. More details on this to be announced following talks with businesses and unions.
The Bank of England has cut interest rates to a historic low of 0.1%.
In other relevant news, Mayor Khan has announced that TfL will continue to run but may operate a reduced service.
Specific measures to support the hospitality and leisure sectors:
The Chancellor has confirmed that government statements on Coronavirus allows businesses to make an insurance claim against policies covering pandemics
Small businesses will benefit from an extension of the Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which will provide loans of up to £5m per company with no interest for the first six months
All businesses in these sectors will receive a business rate holiday for 12 months
These measures are in addition to the support outlined in last week’s budget:
Statutory sick pay will be available for all those who are advised to self-isolate, even if they have displayed no symptoms
Up to 14 days of SSP will be paid by the government for anyone hit by Coronavirus
Temporary removal of minimum income level for universal credit
Compensation scheme for firms with high sick-pay bills, which is likely to be required if more workers were forced to self-isolate
Businesses will be able to delay paying business rates for three months in light of trouble to businesses caused by Coronavirus
Introduction of Coronavirus ‘business interruption loan scheme worth £1.2m to protect SMEs and cover the cost of salaries and bills
Business rates will be abolished for firms in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors with a rateable value below £51,000