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Coronavirus: Government Assistance

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 21st May 2020.

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Photo of Jeff Smith Jeff Smith Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Government support packages made available for charities, the tech sector and rugby league, whether the Government plans to provide additional sector-specific support packages during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of John Whittingdale John Whittingdale Minister of State

The Government has announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency including almost £300 billion of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of UK GDP. Businesses and workers may benefit from the range of support measures including:

  • The Coronavirus Job Retention (Furlough) Scheme to support employers with 80% of workers’ salaries up to £2,500 a month.

  • The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme which provides eligible freelance workers with up to £2,500 per month in grants for at least three months.

  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme provide significant access to cash for eligible businesses in need.

  • The Bounce Back Loan Scheme is a fast-track finance scheme designed to support small businesses.

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

In addition to the support packages highlighted, DCMS has also worked with its arms-length bodies on a range of measures to help our sectors:

  • Arts Council England is making £160 million of emergency funding available.

  • Sport England have launched an economic package of £210m to support the grassroots and community sport sector.

  • The National Lottery Heritage Fund announced a £50m Heritage Emergency Fund.

  • Historic England have announced a £2million programme of grants to support smaller, specialist organisations and projects.

  • Releasing emergency funding to help community radio stations continue to provide programming and outreach projects for the communities they serve. Relevant stations were invited to bid for emergency grants to help meet their core costs through a process administered by Ofcom.

The Government’s economic strategy will be closely coordinated with the public health strategy to ensure a safe return to economic activity. We will continue to monitor developments to understand the economic impacts of COVID-19, including on industries and sectors, and consider how the Government can best support their recovery.

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