£330billion government pledge to do 'whatever it takes' for businesses welcomed by the FSB
By James Young | 18th March 2020
The £330billion pledge to support business made by Chancellor Rishi Sunak has been welcomed by the Federation of Small Business.
In what was termed as a 'wartime' commitment of government spending by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Chancellor made a series of commitments to help business.
Commitments had already been made in last week's budget, but Tuesday evening's statement at Number 10 went further as Mr Sunak pledged to do "whatever it takes" to get through the crisis.
At the heart of the announcement was £330billion in commercial loan guarantees for busineses.
The business interruption loan scheme announced at budget will now provide loans of up to £5million for small firms on an interest fee basis for six months, starting next week.
There is a complete moratorium on business rates for the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors and any business who qualifies for the Retail Discount can access cash grants of up to £25,000.
All small firms that qualify for small business rates relief can access cash grants of up to £10,000.
The chancellor also committed to working with business groups to develop an employment support package that will help mitigate employment costs for small firms, to prevent lay-offs.
The FSB have confirmed that they will be working alongside the government to ensure that employment package also covers the self-employed.
FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry said: "The Government has thankfully made clear that it will step in and provide small firms with the cash flow they need - whatever it takes.
"This marks a hugely important intervention. And it's good to hear the Chancellor pledging to do more in the days ahead.
"Small firms are having their futures threatened in the here and now. They need support in the here and now.
"This unprecedented package of loan guarantees, business rates breaks and cash grants marks a hugely welcome step forward.
"The key now is to deliver these measures within the coming days with no hold ups at banks, local authorities or central government.
"Some small businesses are already on the brink - they need time and space from landlords, HMRC and lenders over the next few days before these interventions take effect.
"Clearly small employers will need a huge amount of support to keep staff on their books at this hugely difficult time, so it was good to hear the Chancellor pledging to develop an Employment Support Package to help make that possible.
"We will be working together with the Government to ensure the employment package provides for the self-employed.
"In what will be difficult days ahead for the small firms that make-up 99 per cent of our business community, the Chancellor has today made it clear that the Government will back them - we will continue to press for any and all measures needed. Support must be delivered in every nation and region of the UK."
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