18 March 2020

Chancellor unveils further support for SMEs

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak has announced further steps that the Government will take to support the economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.


Rishi Sunak has pledged to make available an initial £330 billion of loans - equivalent to 15% of the UK’s GDP. This allocation will ensure that businesses that need access to cash to pay their rent, salaries, suppliers, or purchase stock, will be able to access a government-backed loan, on attractive terms. 


These measures, intended to support large and small businesses, will be delivered through two main schemes: 


  • For larger businesses, a new lending facility with the Bank of England (BoE) will be provided to make available low cost, easily accessible commercial paper. 
  • For small and medium sized businesses, the new Business Interruption Loan Scheme will be extended and will now provide loans of up to £5 million, with no interest due for the first six months.


Both of these schemes will be up and running by the start of March 23 2020 and £10,000 grants for 700,000 of the smallest businesses will also be made available. 


The Chancellor said “In the coming days, I will go much further to support people’s financial security. In particular, I will work with trade unions and business groups to urgently develop new forms of employment support to help protect people’s jobs and incomes through this period.”


He also provided reassurance that he will provide further financial support if necessary. More measures are expected to be announced in the coming days. 


Richard Beresford commented “The construction industry is expected to face significant disruptions due to the ongoing pandemic. Many businesses will be anxious about their future, therefore the Chancellor’s announcement will give businesses some breathing room and relief.”


“Further measures will inevitably be put in place to mitigate disruptions and we invite the Government to stay in contact with the wider construction industry to understand the specific concerns each sector is facing. To assist with their decision making process, we will feed in our members’ experiences on a weekly basis.” 

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