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Further to the Update we issued yesterday (17 March), the Chancellor last night announced a £350 billion support package to help keep businesses and households afloat during the coronavirus crisis. The main points are as follows:
- £330billion in Government backed loans for businesses of all sizes so they can keep paying employees wages, rent, suppliers or stock purchases. This is the equivalent of 15% of UK GDP. The loan terms are described as 'attractive'. This package is split into two measures. For larger companies, the Treasury has reached an agreement with the Bank of England to make 'low cost,easily accessible' short-term funding available. For small to medium-sized businesses, the Treasury will extend the Business Interruption Loan Scheme announced in last week's Budget to provide loans of up to £5million, up from £1.2million. No interest due for the first 6 months. Both schemes are due to be 'up and running' at the start of next week, 23 March.
- £20 billion of giveaways including grants of up to £25,000 for small firms in retail, hospitality and leisure operating in smaller premises with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000.
- A full year without business rates for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses. Previously businesses had to have a rateable value under £51,000 to benefit from the emergency relief.
- Grants increased from £3,000 to £10,000 to small businesses which are eligible for Small Business Rate Relief.
- Cash grants will not need to be repaid.
- Planning changes announced. With immediate effect, all pubs and restaurants will be able to turn themselves into takeaway or delivery businesses without needing planning permission. Rules waived for next 12 months for food and hot drinks but not alcohol where current licensing rules will apply.
- Three month mortgage holidays for homeowners financially affected, with help for renters to be announced shortly.
- The Chancellor is to draw up plans for more support for workers facing redundancy and has said the Government is to consider cash payments for those hit hardest.
RBKC are currently compiling an essential guide for businesses and will implement the above measures as quickly as they can. We will provide more information on the claims process as soon as possible.
Learn more about business support on the RBKC website here.