Chancellor Rishi Sunak has vowed to ‘do whatever it takes’ to support businesses as the country looks to a post-coronavirus future.
Giving his Budget speech today, Mr Sunak said the business rates holiday would continue until the end of June followed by nine months of 66% relief.
Local authorities will be fully compensated for the loss of income as a result of the measures, and receive new burdens funding for administrative and IT costs.
The Government will freeze the business rates multiplier in England for 2021/22, saving firms around £600m over the next five years.
Business restart grants in England of up to £6,000 for non-essential retail businesses and up to £18,000 for hospitality and other sectors were also announced, as well as an additional £425m of discretionary business grant funding for local authorities to distribute on top of the £1.6bn already allocated.
The Budget documents said the new one-off grants, which altogether will cost £5bn, would give businesses ‘further certainty in order to plan ahead and safely begin trading again over the coming months’.
There will be a new UK-wide guarantee scheme supporting businesses’ access to loans and overdrafts.
The recovery loan scheme will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on eligible loans between £25,000 and £10m to give them ‘confidence in continuing to provide finance to UK businesses’.
Previously, under the future fund, more than £1.1bn of loans to more than 1,140 businesses have been provided.
A new £375m fund to help scale up the most innovative, research and development intensive businesses was also announced.
In his speech, Mr Sunak said the Budget ‘protects businesses’.