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Perthshire Chamber of Commerce

SCC & Scottish Government Update 17th March

17th March 2020


Commenting on the additional covid-19 support measures for businesses announced today by the UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Dr Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce said:


“The additional support measures announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak are essential if businesses are to survive and will provide immediate cashflow support to businesses that urgently require it. We now need the Scottish and UK Governments to provide access to these funds quickly and as easily as possible – any delays could lead to further job losses and we must avoid this at all costs.


“This is an unprecedented situation for business, communities and our society. We need to constantly review the business and economic impacts and ensure companies are supported quickly and with the relevant measures. We are ready to accept the UK Government’s invitation to work with them to design a system that ensures micro businesses and the self-employed also have tailored support as these jobs are just as important to our economy and they are already experiencing major income reductions.


“We fully appreciate we are in unchartered waters, but we are already seeing great examples of individuals, communities, and businesses all doing as much as possible to help one another. Let’s ensure that businesses are fully supported to continue getting through this difficult time.”



UK Government Announcement:  Chancellor Rishi Sunak today announced further measures of support for the economy and for businesses. After major lobbying efforts from Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network and business groups, these measures will support many of our members. However, we have been clear that the situation and economic impact must be reviewed daily to ensure the support provided is quick, accessible and relevant. 


Further measures of support announced by UKGOV today:

• The UK Government will provide £330 billion of guarantees, worth 15% of GDP, for anyone that needs support to access a government loan or credit on attractive terms - government will pay loans if companies cannot repay banks

• Support will be delivered through two schemes, one for large business and the other for SMEs

• For large businesses, a new lending facility has been agreed with the Bank of England

• For small businesses, UK gov will now provide loans up to £5 million, extending the Coronavirus Interruption Scheme - Both loan schemes will be up and running by the start of next week

• Treasury will be convening virtual meetings with industry reps shortly to discuss further tailored support solutions across the UK

• UK gov providing additional cash grant of 25k for pubs, clubs and theatre for those who don’t have insurance

• Extending the business rates holiday to all firms in the most affected sectors, retail, hospitality and leisure, regardless of their rateable value, for 12 months (not applicable to firms in Scotland as business rates is devolved to the Scottish Government.

• Those with properties of a rateable value less than 51k, they can get the 25k cash grant too

• Increasing other cash grants up to 10k for the smallest firms

• Will discuss a support package specifically for airlines and airports "in the coming days".

• Devolved governments will receive an additional £3 billion worth of support

• Mortgage lenders will now offer a three-month mortgage holiday

• In coming days, Treasury will work with trade unions and business groups to develop new forms of employment support to protect jobs and income

• More to come in next few days

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