Chancellors Statement on Coronavirus - 17/03/2020

We will support jobs, we will support incomes, we will support businesses, we will help you protect your loved ones. We will do whatever it takes.

Today, I am making available an initial £330bn of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of our GDP. Measures include:
Any business who needs access to cash will be able to access a government-backed loan, on attractive terms.

If demand is greater than the initial £330bn I’m making available today, I will go further and provide as much capacity as required.

To support lending to small and medium sized businesses, I am extending the new Business Interruption Loan Scheme I announced at the Budget last week, so that rather than loans of £1.2m, it will now provide loans of up to £5m, with no interest due for the first six months.

I announced last week that for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, with a rateable value of less than £51,000, they will pay no business rates this year. 
Today, I provided those businesses with an additional cash grant of up to £25,000 per business.

 I am also extending the business rates holiday to all businesses in those sectors, irrespective of rateable value.

That means every single business in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector will pay no business rates whatsoever for 12 months, and if they have a rateable value of less than £51,000, they can now get a cash grant as well.

I also announced last week that we would be providing £3,000 grants to the 700,000 of our smallest businesses. 
To support their cash flow, today I can increase those grants to £10,000.

Following discussions with industry, I can announce today that for those in difficulty due to coronavirus, mortgage lenders will offer a three month mortgage holiday – so that people will not have to pay a penny towards their mortgage while they get back on their feet.

In the coming days, I will go much further to support people’s financial security. In particular, I will work with trade unions and businesses to urgently develop new forms of employment support to help protect people’s jobs and incomes through this period.

The measures I have announced today are part of a comprehensive, coordinated and coherent response to what is a serious and evolving economic situation. 

These are only the first steps – I will set out the next stage of our response in the coming days.