Business: Coronavirus

Treasury written question – answered on 31st March 2020.

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Photo of Lord Truscott Lord Truscott Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what financial support they are planning to give to the leisure and entertainment sector, including theatres, restaurants and pubs, if any such businesses cannot claim against their insurance for any losses incurred as a result of COVID-19.

Photo of Lord Agnew of Oulton Lord Agnew of Oulton Minister of State (HM Treasury), Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

The government understands that the leisure and entertainment sectors are particularly affected by this crisis. For businesses which have a policy that covers pandemics, the government’s actions will allow them to make an insurance claim against their policy. In addition, the government is providing £10,000 grants to over 700,000 small businesses across England, and increased grants for qualifying retail, hospitality and leisure businesses of up to £25,000 per property.

More generally, the Chancellor has announced an unprecedented package of measures to protect businesses and workers, including an initial £330 billion of loan guarantees. This is on top of compensation for statutory sick pay announced in the Budget. On Friday 20 March the Chancellor announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help firms continue to keep people in employment. Businesses can put workers on temporary leave and the government will pay them cash grants of 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, providing they keep the worker employed.

The government stands ready to take whatever action may be necessary to support businesses through this economic and human crisis.

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