HM Treasury has announced new measures to support businesses due to the coronavirus outbreak. Image credit: James F.

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Among the new aid announced was business rates relief for retailers, leisure outlets and hospitality sector firms. Sunak had originally planned for the rates holiday to apply only to small firms in the sector which was announced last week and reported here in Antiques Trade Gazette.

There was also an update on grants and loans for businesses.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, announced last week, to support “long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance” has been extended. The state-backed British Business Bank will offer smaller firms up to £5m of loans with no interest due for the first six months, up from a previous proposal of £1.2m.

For large companies, the Bank of England could buy outstanding bonds to provide cash if necessary. 

The latest measures for business from government include:

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

For more on the business support announcement visit the website.