Dan Peters 03 March 2021

Budget 2021: Sunak vows to do 'whatever it takes' to help businesses

Budget 2021: Sunak vows to do whatever it takes to help businesses image

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has vowed to ‘do whatever it takes’ to support businesses as the country looks to a post-coronavirus future.

Giving his Budget speech today, Mr Sunak said the business rates holiday would continue until the end of June followed by nine months of 66% relief.

Local authorities will be fully compensated for the loss of income as a result of the measures, and receive new burdens funding for administrative and IT costs.

The Government will freeze the business rates multiplier in England for 2021/22, saving firms around £600m over the next five years.

Business restart grants in England of up to £6,000 for non-essential retail businesses and up to £18,000 for hospitality and other sectors were also announced, as well as an additional £425m of discretionary business grant funding for local authorities to distribute on top of the £1.6bn already allocated.

The Budget documents said the new one-off grants, which altogether will cost £5bn, would give businesses ‘further certainty in order to plan ahead and safely begin trading again over the coming months’.

There will be a new UK-wide guarantee scheme supporting businesses’ access to loans and overdrafts.

The recovery loan scheme will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on eligible loans between £25,000 and £10m to give them ‘confidence in continuing to provide finance to UK businesses’.

Previously, under the future fund, more than £1.1bn of loans to more than 1,140 businesses have been provided.

A new £375m fund to help scale up the most innovative, research and development intensive businesses was also announced.

In his speech, Mr Sunak said the Budget ‘protects businesses’.

The Brownfield Land Release Fund image

The Brownfield Land Release Fund

To what extent does this early initiative of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities deliver on the ‘levelling up’ agenda? Lawrence Turner reports.
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