In the UK, the Chancellor has set out a package of measures to support businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. The measures currently include £330bn in loans, £20bn in other aid, a business rates holiday, deferred VAT payments (until 30 June 2020) and grant funding for retailers and pubs. The Chancellor also announced a further package of measures on Friday afternoon to support wages and pay: where employees are designated as “furloughed workers” by the employer (i.e. they would otherwise have been laid off during the crisis), HMRC will reimburse 80% of their wage cost, up to a cap of £2500 per month.
Up to date information on the measures, and how to access them, is available on the government website here. The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank) and the necessary guidance for local authorities on the small businesses grant funding schemes (including small business grant funding of £10,000 for businesses in receipt of small business rate relief) are expected to be available early this week, but the grant funding itself will not be provided to the local authorities by government until early April.