Further announcements to assist businesses
These included the following;
- £330bn of bank loans to businesses to stop them from going bankrupt.
- £20bn in the form of other aid such as grants for businesses.
- Business rates holiday.
- Grants for retailers and pubs.
The changes meant extending the business rates holiday to all firms in the hospitality sector and funding grants of between £10,000 and £25,000 for small and medium businesses.
New business loans
These new loans will allow both larger firms and small & medium sized businesses (SME's) to access important funds to get through the outbreak.
Larger businesses will be able to access the lending facility through the Bank of England at a 'low cost, easily accessible' commercial loan.
Small and medium businesses loans are an extension to the new business interruption loan scheme so that these businesses can now borrow up to £5 million with no interest due for the first six months.
Our understanding is that the new business interruption loan schemes will be launched next week and will be accessed directly from your bank by making the relevant application.
Business rates holiday
The one year business rates holiday has been extended for all retailers under the latest measures.
Previously this only applied to commercial premises with a rateable value of under £51,000.
Cash grants for small businesses have been increased from £3,000 to £10,000. These small businesses are those who do not currently pay business rates.
Businesses with a rateable value of up to £51,000 will be able to apply for grants up to £25,000.
The Government also stated that for those with insurance policies that cover pandemics the Government's advice will allow them to make an insurance claim.
For those without insurance, there is a promise of an additional cash grant of up to £25,000 for each business during this period.
Grants of up to £25,000 will also be offered to struggling restaurants, bars and shops.
It is not yet clear how businesses can apply for these grants but we are expecting further announcements in due course.
Anyone who cannot pay their mortgage due to the impact of COVID-19 will be allowed a three-month repayment holiday.
There has also been a delay in the implementation of the new IR35 regulations that were due to come into force in April 2020. These have now been deferred by 12 months to April 2021.