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Michelle Monck

Consumer Finance Expert
Published: 17/03/2020
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The government has just announced as part of their daily media briefings a series of measures to support businesses and mortgage borrowers impacted by the Coronavirus.
The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak started the briefing by saying “the government would do whatever it takes” to support businesses and people through the Coronavirus emergency. He continued describing the measures announced as “government interventions unimaginable a few weeks ago.”
The government’s rescue package is trying to mitigate the impact of Coronavirus on the economy, businesses and jobs. This follows the news today of Laura Ashley entering administration and the loss of 2,900 jobs from Carphone Warehouse.
Here is a summary of what the Chancellor announced.

Mortgage payment holidays

Those borrowers impacted by Coronavirus who find they cannot make their mortgage payments will be allowed a payment of three months. This follows on from Lloyds Banking Group, TSB and NatWest who had already announced they would offer payment holidays.
Anyone who is concerned about paying their mortgage or any other form of borrowing should contact their lender as soon as possible to discuss their options.

More government loans

The Chancellor has announced guaranteed loan available for large businesses and SMEs struggling due to Coronavirus. £330 billion (15% of GDP) has been made available to businesses under what the Chancellor described as ‘attractive terms’.
There are two schemes available, one for large firms operated through the Bank of England and the second as an extension to the Business Interruption Loan Scheme. The maximum loan for small businesses has been increased from £1.2 million to £5 million. Furthermore, these loans now come with six months interest free. Businesses should apply to the British Business Bank for a Business Interruption Loan. However, the current information available on their website states that:
“We are in the process of defining and agreeing he scheme’s details, specifications and eligibility and therefore information is subject to change.”
The Chancellor stated that the two schemes would be in place at the start of next week.
There was also reference to a specific scheme for airlines and airports would follow.

Support for the hospitality sector

The 12-month business rates holiday has been extended to all hospitality businesses and the Chancellor has made grants of up to £25,000 available for those small businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000.

Increased cash grants for small businesses

The cash grants announced in the budget for small businesses who qualify for small business rate relief will also be increased from £3,000 to £10,000.

More updates will follow

The Government is constantly updating the advice on Covid-19 and the financial implications this will have on consumers and businesses. At, we will aim to keep our readers as up-to-date with the current information as much as possible.


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