Westside BID welcomes Chancellor’s action to boost economy to combat coronavirus

The government’s £30bn package of measures to boost the economy and get the country through the coronavirus outbreak has been welcomed by Westside BID.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced he was suspending business rates for many firms in England, extending sick pay and boosting NHS funding.

In his first Budget speech, he warned of a “significant” but temporary disruption to the UK economy but vowed: “We will get through this together.”

His action comes as the Bank of England announced an emergency cut in interest rates to 0.25.

Mr Sunak said: “We are doing everything we can to keep this country and our people healthy and financially secure.”

Of the £30bn, around £12bn will be targeted at coronavirus measures, including at least £5bn for the NHS in England and £7bn for business and workers across the UK.

  • The coronavirus measures which can help businesses include:
  • Statutory sick pay for “all those who are advised to self-isolate” even if they have not displayed symptoms.
  • Business rates for shops, cinemas, restaurants and music venues in England with a rateable value below £51,000 suspended for a year.
  • A “temporary coronavirus business interruption loan scheme” for banks to offer loans of up to £1.2m to support small and medium-sized businesses.
  • The government will meet costs for businesses with fewer than 250 employees of providing statutory sick pay to those off work because of coronavirus.
  • Plans to make it quicker and easier to get benefits for those on zero hours contracts.

Mike Olley, general manager of Westside BID, said: “We welcome these sensible measures that will help many of our members as they prepare themselves to get through this difficult period.

“The government may well have to do more as things develop, but we see this as a good start.”

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