This time last year no one could have foreseen that the Budget would take place in the midst of a global pandemic: but here we are, with COVID-19 scarily at our door.
Coronavirus is hitting the economy hard, there's no doubt about it, so how are Rishi and his team helping struggling businesses at a time when we really need aid the most?
Announcing the government's programme to inject large cash sums into British businesses to help stimulate the economy, The Budget includes a £5 billion emergency response fund and a £500 million hardship fund to help counter the impact of the coronavirus amongst a reported £600billion plan for capital investment. It comes after the announcement from the Bank of England of a 0.5% cut to interest rates.
“This cut is a direct call from the BoE for banks to help consumers and stimulate the economy in the wake of Coronavirus,” says Dr Roger Gewolb, founder of FairMoney. “This may not be the best news for savers, but for borrowers it is a great time to reconsider their options. One only hopes that the banks will pass the whole of this savings on to their borrowers, in contrast to past cuts which have not always been passed on."
Worried about the impact the virus will have if your staff become sick? "This Budget delivered some welcome surprises for SME businesses in the UK,” says John Rozenbroek, CFO and COO at Capify. "The government went further than expected with business rate cuts and a pledge on Statutory Sick Pay to help tackle the potential threat of coronavirus.
“Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of under £51,000 will benefit from a 12-month break on their business rates. This is a significant boost for some of the UK's most vital sectors and should help to boost business confidence.
"A commitment from the government to pay Statutory Sick Pay for up to 14 days for any workers impacted by coronavirus will also help the cash flow of many UK SMEs. We're pleased to see the government go further than expected with this measure.
“An announcement from the Bank of England that it will also offer new incentives for banks to lend more to SMEs was also made, however, the specific details of this are still unclear. Banks have traditionally made it tricky for many SME businesses to access funding and it remains to be seen if these schemes will actually deliver what is hoped.”
Whatever the outcome, we all wish your business the very best.