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UK gov backs £330bn of loans for businesses

Music venues and other businesses in the leisure and hospitality sector are set to benefit from a business rates exemption and cash grants under new government measures

By Anna Grace on 17 Mar 2020

Chancellor Rishi Sunak opened the scheme today

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (cropped)

image © Chris McAndrew

The UK chancellor of the exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has today (17 March) announced a £330 billion package of guaranteed loans for the country’s businesses.

Further measures include a business rates exemption for venues and other businesses in the leisure, hospitality and retail sectors, regardless of rateable value, and grants of up to £25,000 for businesses with a rateable value of under £51,000.

From the start of next week, the government will additionally extend its business interruption loan scheme for small- and medium-sized enterprises, which will offer loans of up to £5 million, interest free for the first six months, and support liquidity among larger firms.

Those affected by the virus will also be offered a three-month mortgage holiday, while the chancellor said he is prepared to “offer whatever further financial support” he decides is necessary.

Social venues, pubs, clubs and theatres that have pandemic cover will now be able to claim against their insurance, Sunak added.

The measures come following yesterday’s advice that UK citizens stop all “non-essential contact” and avoid public gatherings, in a move that caused “uncertainty and confusion” among the country’s live music industry.


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