To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what financial support he is providing to small-to-medium transport companies that are substantially engaged in the importing and distribution of personal protective equipment and other essential medical supplies; and if he will make it his policy to offer such companies (a) business rate relief and (b) support grants similar to those available to retail, hospitality and tourism businesses.
The Government recently announced a trilateral agreement, with the French and Irish governments, committing to keeping freight routes open throughout the crisis. In addition, the Government has announced additional support to protect key maritime freight routes. This includes up to £17m to support routes between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and up to £10.5m for links to the Ilse of Wight and the Scilly Isles, to ensure the continued operation of essential services. The Department for Transport is continuing to engage with the haulage industry to understand the impact of Covid-19 on the sector.The business rates relief and grant schemes for eligible retail, leisure and hospitality businesses have been designed to support the smallest businesses, and smaller businesses in some of the sectors which have been hit hardest by the measures taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Small and medium-sized businesses which are not eligible for these schemes may be able to benefit from other measures in the Government’s unprecedented package of support, including:
The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply - https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support.