Chancellor announces additional support to protect businesses

Chancellor announces additional support to protect businesses

Sunak promises government intervention "on a scale unimaginable only a few weeks ago". Making loans to businesses with no money coming in and multiple overheads to meet through a period of no, or low trading, is simply kicking the can down the road.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced the news during today's coronavirus briefing.

He announced a £330 billion fund for government backed loans for businesses, the equivalent of 15 per cent of the country's GDP.

Mortgage lenders have agreed they will support customers that are experiencing issues with their finances as a result of Covid-19, including through payment holidays of up to 3 months. "Every single shop, pub, theatre, music venue, restaurant... will pay no business rates for 12 months", said Sunak.

He outlined financial support measures from an economic response to the impact of coronavirus, at a press conference held today (17 March), less than a week after his Budget (11 March), which also included a grant of up to £25,000 per business for pubs with a rateable value of less than £51,000.

The UK government has announced homeowners will be given a three-month "mortgage holiday".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson reiterated the message that the government will support those most in need, saying: "The state is asking people to make considerable changes to their lives - only right that the state should stand behind people as they make those changes".

He added: "But many of those businesses don't have insurance - so we will go further".

Johnson is accompanied by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak and the government's chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance.

He said the "virus is so dangerous" and "infectious without drastic measures to check progress it would overwhelm any health system". The number of deaths has risen to 69 across the UK.

The Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab has warned Britons on Tuesday, to "avoid all non-essential foreign travel for 30 days", as the coronavirus pandemic grows.

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