The chancellor has waived business rates for a year for the entire retail and leisure industry as part of a new £330bn coronavirus package.


In the latest daily government briefing, Rishi Sunak also announced a new Bank of England lending facility for small businesses of up to £5m, with no interest paid for six months.

Mortgage lenders will be offering a three-month mortgage holiday for those in financial difficulty, and small to medium sized businesses will receive cash grants worth up to £25,000.

Businesses with insurance that covers the effect of pandemics will be able to claim on that insurance, the chancellor also confirmed this evening.

Although the measures have been tentatively welcomed, some industry figures have questioned whether enough support will be given to those in the private rental sector.

Franz Doerr, founder and chief executive of flatfair, said:“It is pleasing to see that the government is taking measures to ensure landlords are protected during this crisis with a three month mortgage holiday, but support must also be offered to tenants as well, who may very well be unable to make their payments in the months ahead.”

The £330bn announced is an increase of £300bn on the package offered last week which was slammed by senior industry figures as not going far enough.