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Food: Coronavirus

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 5th May 2020.

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Photo of Carolyn Harris Carolyn Harris Labour, Swansea East

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will provide financial support to food and drink wholesale businesses that are affected by the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has already set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. The measures available to food and drink wholesale businesses depend on their size, and include:

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for furloughing of staff;
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan;
  • Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan;
  • Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility;
  • Statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs with fewer than 250 employees;
  • Value Added Tax (VAT) deferral to the end of June;
  • HMRC Time To Pay Scheme;
  • Eviction protection for commercial tenants;
  • £10,000 cash grant for all business in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief and Rural Rates Relief

From 4 May, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme will be available to small businesses, who will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 with a 100% Government-backed guarantee for lenders.

With counterparts across Whitehall, and through engagement with industry, we are monitoring the potential impacts COVID 19 on the food and drink wholesale sector. We remain committed to working in partnership with industry to respond to these challenges as they evolve.

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