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Small Businesses: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN HL3460, tabled on 28 April 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to extend their financial support for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic to small businesses that do not have their own premises.

Answered on

13 May 2020

A discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate eligible small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme. The Business Secretary and Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government spoke to local authorities in England on 1 May to set out that up to £617 million would be made available. This is in addition to the £12.33 billion funding previously announced for the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF), meaning an amount of up to £617 million.

Government has introduced legislation helping tenants who are facing difficulties paying rent by implementing a pause on commercial forfeitures and we will review this. Government is urgently investigating what other support may be provided to commercial property owners as they seek to recover from the current crisis.

We have been working quickly to support the UK’s businesses and commercial real estate sector through the crisis. This has included support through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Coronavirus Corporate Financing Facility - support which is available to both tenants and landlords. The Small Business Grant Fund is designed for eligible small businesses with relatively high fixed costs and experiencing reduced trade as a result of social distancing and closures policies.