The focus of the daily coronavirus daily update by the government today (17th March) was on the impact of business, lead by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak. He reassured us they would do ‘whatever it takes’ to help businesses and this just the start.
- Businesses will be able to get ‘low-cost’ loans with ‘attractive’ terms which are backed and guaranteed by government. The government will back £330bn loans. These will be available from next week (w/c 23rd March).
- The Business Interruption Loan has been extended from £1.2m to £5m.
- All retail, hospitality and leisure businesses (with a rateable value less than £51k) which are affected by the national shutdown will have access to a £25k cash grant per business.
- These businesses will also have a business rate holiday for 12 months.
- If businesses in these sectors have an insurance policy clause covering a pandemic (which we appreciate is unlikely!), the government guarantees you will be able to claim. For those that don’t have such insurance the above is designed to meet that.
- The smallest businesses which don’t pay businesses rates can now claim a cash grant of up to £10k instead of £3k.
- Homeowners in difficulty will able to claim a three-month mortgage holiday (bear in mind that repayments could be higher as the interest from the holiday period recovered at a later date).
The government has promised this is a step in a phased approach and more will be done as and when is necessary.
Our next step is to understand how businesses can claim these and to work with the relevant organisations to ensure that those of you that need access to support, get it.
While there is a lot here, we’re still yet to hear what support there is for freelancers. We will continue to push for this and will keep you updated as soon as we’re able.