The Chancellor has 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.

Here are the main points from the UK government measures to support businesses including:

  • the government will step in to help pay people's wages through a coronavirus job retention scheme 
  • Businesses can apply for a grant of up to £2,500 a month to cover 80% of salary for those retained but not working
  • VAT for all businesses is being deferred until the end of June and the business loan scheme will now be interest free for 12 months
  • Universal Credit allowance increases £1,000 a year
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • The self-employed will get full Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to statutory sick pay, and a further £1bn to cover 30% of house rental costs
  • The Chancellor promises further measures next week to ensure larger and medium sized businesses will be able to access the credit they need
  • Cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants across the UK have been told to close on Friday night and not reopen - although they can offer takeaway services. 
  • Nightclubs, theatres, cinemas and gyms have also been told to shut their doors
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson says people should not go out on Friday night to such venues. He says people should stay at home "to protect the NHS and save lives" He also rules out shutting down major transport networks, saying it's "too important for the delivery of crucial public services"