Small firms applaud £330 billion loan pledge as Chancellor promises to do “everything necessary” to help businesses

Press Releases 17 Mar 2020

FSB will be working with the Government to ensure this employment package covers the self-employed.

Following on from the announcement of a range of measures to support small firms impacted by current coronavirus-linked disruption in last week’s Budget, the Chancellor has today pledged:

  • £330 billion worth of commercial loan guarantees. The business interruption loan scheme unveiled last week will now provide loans of up to £5 million to small firms, interest free for six months, from next week.  
  • A complete moratorium on business rates for those in the retail, leisure or hospitality sectors. Those who qualify for the Retail Discount can access cash grants of up to £25,000. All small firms that qualify for small business rates relief can access cash grants of up to £10,000.
  • To work with business groups to develop an Employment Support Package which will help to mitigate employment costs for small firms, thereby preventing lay-offs.
  • FSB will be working with the Government to ensure this employment package covers the self-employed.

Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman Mike Cherry said: “The Government has thankfully today made clear that it will step in and provide small firms with the cash flow they need - whatever it takes. This marks a hugely important intervention. And it’s good to hear the Chancellor pledging to do more in the days ahead.

“Small firms are having their futures threatened in the here and now. They need support in the here and now.

“This unprecedented package of loan guarantees, business rates breaks and cash grants marks a hugely welcome step forward. The key now is to deliver these measures within the coming days with no hold ups at banks, local authorities or central government.

“Some small businesses are already on the brink – they need time and space from landlords, HMRC and lenders over the next few days before these interventions take effect.

“Clearly small employers will need a huge amount of support to keep staff on their books at this hugely difficult time, so it was good to hear the Chancellor pledging to develop an Employment Support Package to help make that possible. We will be working together with the Government to ensure the employment package provides for the self-employed.

“In what will be difficult days ahead for the small firms that make-up 99 per cent of our business community, the Chancellor has today made it clear that the Government will back them – we will continue to press for any and all measures needed. Support must be delivered in every nation and region of the UK.”

About FSB

As the UK’s largest business support group, FSB is the voice of the UK’s small businesses and the self-employed. Established over 40 years ago to help its members succeed in business, FSB is a non-profit making and non-party political organisation that’s led by its members, for its members. As the UK’s leading business campaigner, FSB is focused on delivering change which supports smaller businesses to grow and succeed.

FSB offers members a wide range of vital business services, including access to finance, business banking, legal advice and support along with a powerful voice in Government. Each year FSB also runs the UK’s Celebrating Small Business Awards. More information is available at You can follow us on twitter @fsb_policy and on Instagram @fsb_uk.

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