18 March

Government-backed loans worth £330bn

              Government-backed loans worth £330bn

The government has pledged to do “whatever it takes” to support a greater number of British businesses and individuals as the coronavirus outbreak causes major economic disruption.

The loan package totalled £330bn, equivalent to 15 per cent of GDP so any business can access that “on attractive terms” in the biggest UK government rescue plan since the 2008 financial crisis. There will also be £20bn of extra spending on grants, and business rates holidays for companies.

How will the new £330b package work for pubs, venues and retailers?

The £330bn of loans will be provided in two ways, the Chancellor said.

1. For big firms, there will be a new lending facility arranged with the governor of the Bank of England.

2. For smaller firms, a new business interruption loan the scheme - announced at last week’s Budget - will be extended from £1.2m to £5m, with no interest due for the first six months.

*Both of these schemes will be up and running by the start of next week.

Grants for businesses

1. The government announced a scheme of £25,000 cash grants for “pubs, clubs, theatres and other hospitality, leisure and retail firms”. an additional cash grant of up to £25,000 per business to “help bridge through this period”.

2. The business rates holiday, which last week was to be applied to firms with a rateable value of up to £51,000, will now be applied to all regardless of rateable value. The business rates holiday will now be extended to all firms in the hospitality, leisure and retail sectors - regardless of the value of their premises.

3. Meanwhile, support from last week’s Budget to 700,000 small firms eligible for Small Business or Rural Rate Relief, worth £3,000 per firm, will now be worth £10,000, the Chancellor said.

4. The chancellor also confirmed that leisure firms such as pubs and clubs with a policy for insurance that covers pandemic would be able to claim, saying “government action is sufficient”.

Help & support for Individuals

1. Lenders will give a three-month mortgage holiday to those in need.

2. The chancellor added that he will urgently develop new forms of employment support working with unions.

3. The forthcoming coronavirus bill, which is expected to be laid before parliament, later this week, to take powers to offer “whatever further financial support is necessary”.

4. “People’s anxiety about the disease is matched only by their worries about their livelihoods. “We will support jobs, we will support incomes... we will do whatever it takes”.

 

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