News Article

COVID-19 - Government Update

17 March 2020

HOW TO ACCESS GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL SUPPORT IF YOU OR YOUR BUSINESS HAS BEEN AFFECTED BY COVID-19

- £330 billion of government-backed loans and guarantees that will be available from next week

- A new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will enable businesses to apply for a loan of up to £5 million, with the government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees. Businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments. We now expect the new scheme to become available week commencing 23 March 2020. It will be provided by the British Business Bank through participating providers.

- Relaxation in planning regulations to allow pubs and restaurants to start providing takeaways without a planning application.

- Support for liquidity amongst large firms, with a major new scheme being launched by the Bank of England to help them bridge COVID-19 disruption to their cash flows through loans.
Stated Government actions are sufficient to trigger payments for those businesses with pandemic insurance

- For the hospitality and leisure sector there will be a business rates holiday and a £25k cash grant per retail and leisure business for those without specific pandemic insurance.
Strengthened support for people. In addition to the measures in the budget, mortgage lenders will offer a three-month “mortgage holiday” for those in financial difficulty due to the COVID-19 outbreak

- For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of Statutory Sick Pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full.

- There will be a £10,000 cash grant to our smallest businesses, delivered by local authorities. Small businesses that pay little or no business rates and are eligible for small business rate relief (SBBR) or rural rate relief will be contacted by their local authority – they do not need to apply. The funding will be provided to local authorities in early April.

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