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Coronavirus: UK government extends business rates holiday to all

By Huw Hughes

18 Mar 2020


The UK government has extended its business rates holiday to all companies in the UK to protect them during the economic emergency caused by the coronavirus.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced Tuesday that all retail and hospitality firms in the country will be granted a 12-month business rates holiday as well as 330 billion pounds worth of loans.

That comes after Sunak last week announced a suspension of business rates for companies with a rateable value below 51,000 pounds, as well as 30 billion pounds of support to the economy as part of the budget.

But now Sunak has extended that to all businesses after receiving widespread criticism for the way the measures neglect the country’s larger retailers which employ the majority of the industry’s 3 million workers and are paying most of its 7.5 billion pound business rates bill.

Government expands measures to combat economical impact of coronavirus

Additionally, grants to small businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief have been increased from 3,000 to 10,000 pounds.

The government has also provided further 25,000 pound grants to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value of between 15,000 and 51,000 pounds.

Sunak said: “This is not a time for ideology and orthodoxy, this is a time to be bold, a time for courage. I want to reassure every British citizen this government will give you all the tools you need to get through this.

“That means any business who needs access to cash to pay their rent, their salaries, suppliers or purchase stock will be able to access a government-backed loan or credit on attractive terms.

“And if demand is greater than the initial 330 billion I'm making available today, I will go further and provide as much capacity as required. I said whatever it takes, and I meant it.”

Photo credit: Pexels, Dominika Gregušová