The Chancellor in his Budget on 11 March 2020 announced a number of measures to support businesses totalling £30 billion. The Budget measures were dwarfed by the support measures announced on 17 March totalling £350 billion with the key message being that more support would be available if required.

The 17 March measures include:

  • A £330 billion loan guarantee scheme for businesses to allow businesses to access funds for cash flow support.
  • An extension of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (announced in the Budget) to be delivered by the British Business Bank. The government will guarantee 80% of each loan with loans of up to £5 million (increased from the Budget figure of £1.2 million). The first 6 months of the loan will be interest free (the Government will pay the interest).
  • All retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England will have a 100% business rates holiday for the next 12 months. Welsh Government will be provided with additional funds to allow Welsh Government to support Welsh businesses.
  • The Small Business Rate Relief grants will be increased from £3,000 to £10,000 for small businesses..
  • Providing further £25,000 grants to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from small premises, with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000.
  • Confirmation that Government advice to avoid pubs, clubs and theatres will be sufficient for businesses to claim under business interruption insurance (if available).
  • Mortgage lenders will provide payment holidays of up to 3 months.

The Budget measures included:

  • Reclaim of up to two weeks Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees who have been off work due to COVID19 by small and medium sized businesses (any business with fewer than 250 full time equivalent staff as at 28 February 2020).
  • Increase in the Business Rates retail discount to 100% for one year and expanding the scheme to the leisure and hospitality sector. This relief will apply to eligible businesses in England which requires a rateable property value of £51,00 or less. Pubs with a rateable value below £100,000 will be entitled to a £5,000 rates discount.
  • The Welsh Government announced on 17 March a similar package of support. Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or less will receive 100% business rate relief and pubs with a rateable value of between £51,000 and £100,000 will receive a £5,000 reduction on their bill.
  • Welsh Government have announced a £100m grant scheme for small businesses with more details to be announced in due course.
  • An expansion of the “time to pay” arrangements in relation to tax liabilities payable to HM Revenue & Customs.
  • Further information is available on the UK Government website here.

    Details of the Welsh Government announcement is available here.

    For more information please contact a member of our Tax




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Content Contacts


Andrew Evans


Partner, Cardiff

+44 (0)29 2039 1761