Leisure industry to receive cash support
Wednesday, 18 March 2020
rishisunakThe Chancellor Rishi Sunak outlined a major financial support package for businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic
UK - The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has addressed the financial difficulties faced by the leisure industry in a comprehensive financial support package revealed during Tuesday's Downing Street briefing on the coronavirus outbreak.
Sunak is making available £330 billion of loan guarantees to all businesses. To support liquidity amongst larger firms, the Chancellor has agreed a facility with the the Bank of England. For smaller firms, he is extending the business interruption loan scheme, which will offer loans of up to £5m.

Further measures include:
- Removing business rates for businesses with rateable value of £12,000
- Additional cash grants of up to £25,000
- Business rates holiday to apply for 12 months to all businesses irrespectable of their rateable value
- Grants worth £10,000 will be available to the smallest companies

On Friday 20 March, the chancellor revealed further measures for workers and businesses, including paying up to 80% of the wages of employees, capped at £2,500 per month, and increasing the value of universal credit and tax credits by £1,000 a year. 
For the estimated 4.8 million self-employed people in the UK, the chancellor opened up the Universal Credit scheme, meaning they can now receive the same amount as someone on statutory sick pay, or £94.25 a week. 
Pressed about why the self-employed aren't getting support comparative to that salaried employees have been promised, the communities secretary Robert Jenrick recognised that "this isn't perfect", adding: "The chancellor is going to keep reviewing the situation and see if there are further measures we can take. It isn't easy, it's not as simple as supporting those who are in employment. The purpose of our employment mechanism is to help continue the connection between employees and their business so once this is over - and it will be over - those individuals can return to their usual work and that link isn't broken. "It is operationally very difficult to create a scheme akin to that for the self-employed but we are reviewing this. If there are further steps we need to do, we will take them."
Rishi Sunak is under pressure to introduce further financial support for the self-employed this week.

The government's official guidance can be found here. You can make a claim for new style Employment and Support Allowance on the government's website.

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