Chancellor Rishi Sunak has launched a £330bn business rescue package to protect both businesses and individuals amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The news was announced shortly after the National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) released its letter to the government, asking how jewellery businesses will be supported after Boris Johnson advised people to work from home, avoid mass gatherings, and stay away from pubs and restaurants.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, the NAJ’s chief exec asked the government to consider a package which would include the cancellation of business rates, low-interest loans, support for wages of those made redundant and an incentive to support UK businesses and help drive consumers back to the high street.
During the government’s daily press conference yesterday, Sunak addressed some of these points as he announced that all retail and hospitality firms will be exempt from paying business rates for 12 months in a bid to combat the financial damage caused by the outbreak.
Furthermore, the chancellor confirmed that interest-free business interruption loans will be increased to £5m for UK businesses and a cash grant of up to £25,000 for those businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000 was also outlined as well as three-month mortgage holidays for those in difficulty because of coronavirus.
Additionally, due to the ever-changing scenario, the chancellor went on to promise further measures to “support people’s financial security” in the coming days.
The government will also be working closely with trade unions and business groups to “urgently develop new forms of employment support to help protect people’s jobs and their incomes through this period.”
The measures will be introduced by the start of next week, with more support to be announced later this week, he said.
Sunak was keen to reassure the United Kingdom that the government would be doing “whatever it takes” to ensure businesses and individuals can battle through and come out the other side of the crisis.
Professional Jeweller will continue to follow developments and provide further updates.