12 March 2020
Responding to today’s Budget, Ross McNally, Hampshire Chamber Chief Executive and Executive Chairman, said: “Given the exceptional circumstances we face because of the immediate threat of coronavirus, it was not surprising that the focus of the Budget was on short term measures.
“The Chancellor talked about building a ‘bridge for business’ to help offset the medical crisis.
“Should staff have to be off work, the pledge to underwrite sick pay for companies with fewer than 250 employees will significantly ease the burden on their cashflow.
“The same goes for his move to defer tax payments in agreement with HM Revenue & Customs.
“The suspension of business rates for a year for companies involved in retail, leisure and hospitality is also welcome, as is his announcement that a fundamental review of business rates will take place, to be concluded in the autumn.
“Announced earlier in the day, the emergency cut in interest rates from 0.75% to 0.25% is a sensible, measured step to mitigate any lasting economic impact.
“And with cashflow set to be a continuing challenge for some companies, we welcome the lowering of capital requirements on banks to enable them to lend more to businesses.“
“It remains to be seen whether or not these measures will be enough to sustain business confidence and keep the economy on track but they represent a prudent package at this stage.”