Agents have broadly welcomed the government’s short-term measures to help small businesses survive the coronavirus outbreak, but there was little relief for the beleaguered airline sector.
New chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered his first Budget last week, in which he announced a temporary abolition of business rates, greater access to loans and grants, and sick pay refunds for companies whose employees have to self-isolate.
Deben Travel’s Lee Hunt said: “Thank the Lord for some good news – I’ve been hoping for a review of business rates for a long time. I only expected a reduction, so the fact they will be stopped [temporarily] is really good. It will make a massive difference to our business.”
Gary Lewis, chief executive of The Travel Network Group, said the announcement of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme was a “huge” signal of support.
“However, ensuring the right money is going to the right businesses as quickly as possible is paramount, and could very easily be a challenge too far for many businesses starved of cash,” he said. “While the temporary relief of business rates is welcomed, the need for this measure has been evident for years.”