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Grace Hudson
Grace Hudson,
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Government steps in to assist Leisure and Hospitality sector who require financial assistance as a result of COVID-19
25 March 2020

The Chancellor has announced a series of financial aids for UK businesses and also provided further details of the Covid Corporate Financing Facility. Please note that the Government’s advice and guidance to individuals and businesses is changing rapidly as the UK battles the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, please check on the Government website or email the Corporate Group if you have any questions. 

Support for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses 

The Government is introducing a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. Eligible businesses include restaurants, cafes, hotels, bars, cinemas and live music venues. This retail discount will automatically apply for your council tax bill 2020 and there is nothing you need do to benefit from this. 

Cash grants of up to £25,000 per property are also being made available for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant. 

Support for SME businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (“CBILS”)

CBIS is available for businesses that are UK based in its business activity with a turnover of no more than £45 million. Businesses can apply for CBILS if they have a business loan proposal that would have been considered viable by the lender, but for the current circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Businesses could benefit from: 

  • Up to £5m facility: The maximum value of a facility provided under the scheme will be £5 million, available on repayment terms of up to six years.
  • 80% guarantee: CBILS provides the lender with a government-backed, partial guarantee (80%) against the outstanding facility balance, subject to an overall cap per lender.
  • No guarantee fee for SMEs to access the scheme: There is no fee for smaller businesses. Lenders will pay a fee to access CBILS.
  • Interest and fees paid by Government for 12 months: The Government will make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees (if applicable), so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.
  • Finance terms: Finance terms are up to six years for term loans and asset finance facilities. For overdrafts and invoice finance facilities, terms will be up to three years.
  • Security: CBILS may be used for unsecured lending for facilities of £250,000 and under. If the lender can offer finance on normal commercial terms without the need to make use of CBILS, they may do so.

All major banks are now offering the CBILS (at their discretion) and you are able to apply to this scheme through your lender’s website.

Consistent with our policy when giving comment and advice on a non-specific basis, we cannot assume legal responsibility for the accuracy of any particular statement. In the case of specific problems we recommend that professional advice be sought.

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