Chancellor unveils ‘unprecedented’ £330bn package to fight Covid-19 impact

The government has announced an “unprecedented” £330bn package of government backed loans and guarantees for UK businesses to help fight the financial strain of the coronavirus outbreak.

Last week in his maiden Budget Speech the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced a one-year rent holiday for all businesses of a rateable value below £51,000. However this has now been stretched to cover businesses of all sizes – “irrespective of rateable value”.

It 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.

The package Includes:

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 m to £5m 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 the government to offer whatever further financial support it thinks is necessary to businesses

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

Sunak said: “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.”

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