The chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced what support the government is offering trade against the economic emergency caused by the Coronavirus.
He said he government will be giving all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England a 100% business rates holiday for the next 12 months.
Sunak also said they will be 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.
The government is also providing support for liquidity among large firms, with a 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 £1.2m to £5m, and ensuring businesses can access the first six months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first six months of interest payments.
“The chancellor has clearly been listening and these extra measures represent proper progress on last week’s Budget,” says Kate Nicholls, UK Hospitality CEO. “The focus now has to be on making sure that hospitality businesses can draw down the support loans and other funds while they still have businesses to operate, such are the levels of urgency for most businesses.
“We will wait with great anticipation and hope that the detail on employment support measures live up to the hype but, if they are substantive, this could amount to a really helpful raft of support – this needs to come urgently as jobs are being lost every day. Cashflow is the key focus for companies endeavouring to survive. We only hope that this can be enough.”