COVID-19: Business support launches

From today, government support for businesses will be available to help businesses maintain continuity and manage cashflow in the face of the global economic emergency brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

More than £330bn in loans and guarantees will be made available to help firms continue to operate and a government information campaign has also launched to ensure businesses are aware of the support available to them.

New Bank of England governor, Andrew Bailey, said the Bank had taken a number of steps in recent weeks to support the UK economy through the economic shock.

"On Monday a new lending scheme, the COVID Corporate Financing Facility, will open to help businesses manage through this period of uncertainty. Combined with steps taken by the government, this will help companies through this difficult time and support the needs of the people of this country," he said.

It is hoped that the Bank's facility will provide a quick and cost-effective way to raise working capital for larger firms. This scheme will raise working capital for businesses who are principally robust but are experiencing severe disruption to cashflows.

Further, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will provide government-backed loans of up to £5m for small and medium sized businesses with a turnover of up to £45m. Interest payments and any lender-levied fees for businesses will be covered by the Government for an initial period of up to a year.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “We are working round the clock to do whatever it takes to protect our people and businesses. That means that we are not only taking unprecedented action but doing so at unprecedented speed, because we know that businesses and their employees need help now.”

Business secretary, Alok Sharma added: “We know that businesses are in urgent need of access to funding during these unprecedented times. The Business Interruption Scheme will make it easier for banks to lend and businesses to borrow. This will ensure that credit keeps flowing to where it is needed, when it is needed.”

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