Coronavirus: Latest measures to support UK businesses

18th March 2020

During the Prime Ministers daily briefing on Tuesday the 17th March, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a further package of business grants and support aimed at saving jobs across the country in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

The key announcements were:

Government backed guaranteed loan worth £300bn representing 15% of GDP

  • Loans available to any business on attractive terms.
  • For the SME sector – extending Business Interruption Loan scheme from £1.2m up to loans of £5m, with no interest due for the first 6 months.

Measures to ease cash flow and support businesses with fixed costs

  • The government considers its advice to reduce social interaction and therefore the reduction in attending pubs, clubs, restaurants and cinemas etc, sufficient that those with an insurance policy containing business interruption should now be able to make a claim.

Support for business rates

  • If rateable value is less than £51k,  access to a cash grant of up to £25k per business.
  • Business rates holiday for 12 months for businesses operating in retail, leisure and hospitality sector.
  • For those businesses that already paid no business rates due to small business rate reduction, a cash grant of up to £10k is available.

Full reimbursement of SSP for businesses from the first day of an employee being paid sick leave.

Support for individuals

  • Mortgage lenders to offer up to a 3- month repayment holiday for those in difficulty.

The Chancellor said he would be meeting with the Transport Secretary in the next few days to discuss a potential support package for specifically airlines and airports which have warned they could face closure within weeks.

He also said he would be working on specific measures to protect people’s individual financial security, including new employment support. This comes amid concern that those working in the gig economy, or who are self-employed, could have no support if their earnings are reduced due to the coronavirus outbreak.

However, he did not make any announcement relating to any relief for renters.

Clearly this is a fast-developing situation and we will be watching how it develops and updating our clients on a regular basis. Please watch out for our further client updates in the coming days.

Other Useful Links

Coronavirus – Update for Businesses

An update from Thompson Jenner LLP on the Coronavirus

UK Government guidance

NHS – condition overview

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