Business rates will be lifted for an entire year as part of an “unprecedented” £330bn package of financial support unveiled by the Chancellor this afternoon.
Rishi Sunak said that all businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, including “every single shop, pub, music venue and restaurant”, would have to pay no business rates “whatsoever” for 12 months.
He also announced that smaller businesses in that sector who did not have sufficient insurance, there would be a cash grant of up to £25,000 per business.
Key areas of economic support:
- £25,000 cash grants for businesses
- Business rates scrapped for retail, hospitality and leisure industries
- Three-month mortgage breaks
Outlining what he described as “government interventions in the economy on a scale unimaginable only a few weeks ago”, Sunak said that now was a time for “courage” and to “be bold”.
He said: “Today I am making available an initial £330 billion of guarantees equivalent to 15 per cent of our GDP.
“That means that any business who needs access to cash to pay their rent, their salaries, suppliers or purchase stock will be able to access a government backed loan or credit on attractive terms.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak explains how today’s package helps the two largest fixed costs businesses face – rent and wages.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) March 17, 2020
“And if demand is greater than the initial £330billion I am making available today I will go further and provide as much capacity as required. I said whatever it takes and I meant it.”
He also announced that mortgage lenders will provide three-month mortgage holidays for those that need them.
“In the coming days I will go much further to support people’s financial security,” he added, promising to talk to trade unions and business groups.