Thank you for contacting me about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on businesses.
At the Budget the Chancellor set out the first stage of the Government’s response with a £30 billion package of support for people and businesses. This included supporting small and medium-sized businesses to cope with the extra costs of Statutory Sick Pay by refunding eligible costs.
The Chancellor subsequently announced an unprecedented package of government-backed loans and guarantees. There will be an initial £330 billion of guarantees, equivalent to 15 per cent of GDP, and all businesses in the retail, hospitality or leisure sectors are exempt from business rates for 12 months. Grants to small businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief will be raised to £10,000.
On 20 March the Chancellor further announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, a UK-wide scheme to pay a grant to any business for each worker they identify as furloughed so that they can remain employed but not be expected to work. These grants will cover 80 per cent of the salary of retained workers up to a total of £2,500 a month. Ministers aim to make it available before the end of April, and it will cover at least the next three months.
Businesses need cash now so the Government is also deferring VAT payments due between now and the end of June, and Income Tax Self-Assessment payments due in July 2020 will be deferred until January 2021, benefitting millions of self-employed taxpayers.
Ministers are committed to giving every British citizen the tools they need to get through this. The country has never faced an economic fight like this one but is well prepared. The Government will do whatever it takes, and we will get through this.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
EDWARD LEIGH MP