The UK Government has since announced the following support for the economy and people. The Chancellor has also said that more measures will soon be announced on personal finances. The Scottish Government has announced a total replication of all emergency support outlined by the Chancellor. This is the first of a package of measures that will be announced over the coming days. The steps include:
-An initial £330 billion of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of UK GDP.
-Support for liquidity amongst large firms, with a major new scheme being launched by the Bank of England to help them bridge Coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
-Increasing the amount businesses can borrow through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme from £1.2 million to £5 million, and ensuring businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free, as Government will cover the first 6 months of interest payments.
-Providing £20 billion of business rates support and grant funding to help the most-affected firms manage their cashflow. These are the English measures, but similar Scottish measures will be announced by the Scottish Government soon.
- giving all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses a 100% business rates holiday for the next 12 months
- increasing grants to small businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief from £3,000 to £10,000
- providing further £25,000 grants to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000
-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. This will give people the necessary time to recover and ensure they do not have to pay their mortgage in the interim.
-Confirmation that government advice to avoid pubs, clubs and theatres etc. is enough for businesses to claim on their insurance where they have appropriate business interruption cover for pandemics in place.
The First Minister has said that there is a £2.2billion package of support in total to help sustain businesses and that discussions about the grant schemes are ongoing with the local authority umbrella body, Cosla: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-51907797/page/2
Business Gateway are continually updating their website with the latest advice for employers and employees- https://www.bgateway.com/news/guidance-for-business-owners-in-scotland-on-coronavirus-covid-19
There is also a business support helpline available 8:30am-5:30pm, Monday to Friday, which provides advice and can answer any questions. The number is 0300 303 0660.