Coronavirus: Emergency cash to help businesses, and operations delayed

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled an "unprecedented" set of financial measures to support the UK economy through the coronavirus pandemic.

They include mortgage "holidays" for those in financial difficulty as well as £330bn in loans -equivalent to 15% of GDP would be available from next week- to help businesses (both small and large) pay for supplies, rent and salaries to avoid potential losses as a result of the virus.

  • We will support liquidity amongst large companies, with a major new scheme being launched by the Bank of England.

  • We will support lending to small and medium-sized businesses by extending the Business Interruption Loan Scheme announced in the Budget. This means that, rather than providing loans of £1.2 million, it will provide loans of up to £5 million, with no interest for the first six months.

  • Both of these schemes will be up and running by the start of next week –and the Chancellor is also taking a new legal power in the Covid Bill to offer whatever further financial support is necessary

Other measures to be put in place include extended business rates relief and a three-month mortgage holiday for people in financial difficulty as a result of the virus.

  • None of businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors (irrespective of their rateable value) will have to pay business rates for 12 months;

  • Increasing grants for the smallest businesses from £3,000 to £5,000

The chancellor said he was funding grants of between £10,000 and £25,000 for small businesses.

And Chancellor Rishi Sunak promised that if this package was not enough, he would go further.

"We must act like any wartime government and do whatever it takes to support our economy," Prime Minister Boris Johnson said at the same conference.

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