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The UK’s Finance Minister, Rishi Sunak, announced yesterday(opens in a new tab) that the money will be offered to those in the tourism/travel, retail, and hospitality sectors. The amount roughly equates to 15% of the UK’s GDP and more will be made available to businesses, if required.

‘Any business who needs access to cash to pay their rent, their salaries, suppliers, or purchase stock, will be able to access a government-backed loan or credit on attractive terms,’ Sunak said. “People are deeply worried and anxious about their livelihoods,” he explained. “I promise to do whatever it takes to support our economy through this crisis.

The announcement comes at a difficult time for small businesses from all over the globe, and the recent UK government promise is certainly a step in the right direction. Many businesses are suffering and are now seeking financial help. So, what has been promised?

He has called the loan the ‘Business Interruption Loan Scheme’ and small to medium-sized businesses who fall under the travel, retail, or hospitality industry sector, can access up to £5 million. The scheme will come into effect from the 23rd of March and no interest will be made payable for the first 6 months.

“We’re trying to find a way for businesses to meet their fixed costs of staff without letting them go,” said the chancellor. “Business owners will be able to walk into their local bank branch next week and talk to them about the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan.”

Australia has also introduced a similar scheme(opens in a new tab), along with the US treasury(opens in a new tab) announcing they’re passing through a bill to help small businesses during these difficult times. As a tour operator, research if and how you can use these schemes to help you get through.

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