UK: The British government has pledged £330 billion for companies to access loans, extending the business rates holiday to all firms in the hospitality sector and funding grants of up to £25,000 for small businesses.
Less than a week after the 2020 Budget was announced, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has pledged a multi-million package of financial support to fare the British economy against the impact of coronavirus.
Speaking at a press conference, he said: “If demand is greater than the initial £330 billion I’m making available today, I will go further and provide as much capacity as required. I said whatever it takes, and I meant it.”
The £330 billion package is said to be equivalent to 15 per cent of UK GDP.
“That means 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.”
Sunak also mentioned that the abolition of business rates would be extended to all firms within the hospitality sector. Originally, this was only available to businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000.
“Some sectors are facing particularly acute challenges,” Sunak continued. “In the coming days, my colleague the Secretary of State for Transport and I will discuss a potential support package specifically for airlines and airports.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson added: “We must do whatever it takes to support the economy… This a time to be bold, to have courage. We will support jobs, we will support incomes, we will support businesses… We will do whatever it takes.”