All retailers regardless of rateable value will now be given a “business rates holiday,” says chancellor Rishi Sunak. Small retailers with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will now also be eligible for government grants of up to £25,000.
Sunak said he will do “whatever it takes to project jobs and incomes,” and also unveiled plans to make grants worth £10,000 available to the UK’s 70,000 smallest firms. The new pledges come as further action on top of measures already announced in last week’s Budget.
Elsewhere, there will be a loan pot of £330 billion to help keep businesses afloat during this tough period. Sunak says the borrowing will be available on “attractive terms.” For large companies this will come via the Bank of England while for smaller firms he will extend the Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which will now offer loans of up to £5 million with no interest to due for the first six months. Both schemes will be up and running by next week.
Sunak concluded: “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.”