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Agencies set to benefit from massive emergency business schemes

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced a sweeping range of financial measures to try to minimise the impact of Coronavirus on the economy.

Estate agencies of all sizes are expected to be able to benefit from at least some of the measures announced this evening.

The chief measures are:


- Government grants will cover 80 per cent of the salary of retained workers, up to a total of £2,500 a month - that’s above UK median earnings level. The scheme, open to any employer in the country, will cover the cost of wages backdated to March 1 and will be open before the end of April for at least three months. There's no limit on the funding available for the scheme, and the government says it will pay to support as many jobs as needed;

- The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will not be interest-free, as previously planned, for six months – it will be for 12 months. Those loans will now be available on Monday. british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/co…

- To help businesses keep people in work, the next quarter of VAT payments will be deferred. No business will pay VAT from now to mid June and will have until the end of the financial year to repay those bills. That's over £30 billion injected into businesses;

- The government is increasing the Universal Credit standard allowance, for the next 12 months, by £1,000 a year; the Working Tax Credit basic element by the same amount. These measures will benefit just over four million households;

- Taken together, this all adds up to over £6 billion of extra support through the welfare system;

- The next self-assessment payments for the self-employed will be deferred until Jan 2021;

And Chancellor Rishi Sunak completed his announcement by saying: “For renters, I’m announcing today nearly £1 billion of support by increasing the generosity of housing benefit and Universal Credit, so that the Local Housing Allowance will cover at least 30 per cent of market rents in your area.”


In addition, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that all pubs, clubs, restaurants, cafes, cinemas, theatres, entertainment centres, gyms and leisure centres will close from this evening for an indefinite period - the UK will be in lockdown.

  • adrian black

    People's QE - exactly the right strategy

  • Joshua Rayner

    In these unprecedented times it’s critical for business’ greatest asset, and indeed the country’s greatest asset, their people, to be protected. Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcements this evening, particularly a job security scheme never before seen in the UK, will be a shining light at the end of a dark tunnel for both individuals and business’ alike.

    That in conjunction with suspending both VAT payments for the next quarter and self-assessment payments until January 2021, will be a welcome boost in confidence for the property sector.

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    It is a great offering. Just reading through the 80% salary contribution, seems the employee must be laid off and not do any work for you in order to claim the funding?

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    • 21 March 2020 16:03 PM

    It was clear that hospitality and leisure needed to shut down, but also how safe is it to do viewings, valuations, surveys or anything, surely we are risking ourselves, staff and customers?

  • icon

    ALL COMPLETELY OVERBLOWN..........17000 people die each year from seasonal flu......never makes a headline anywhere.........170 ish have now died in the uk to date......omg....the worlds going to end :((
    Get real ladies and gentleman.......in the US more people die each year by killing each other with firearms........nothing happens.......!!


    Clearly you are unaware of the science that estimates 250,000 deaths alongside the fact that hospitals are likely to be in meltdown within days. You are behind the curve

    Rollo Miles

    Come on get a grip, these are unprecedented times and we must all think about the bigger picture and our loved ones , like our parents or grandparents. This is not the time to be selfish.

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    The article, and indeed some of the comments, has interpreted the information on the Government 80% payment incorrectly and you should publish a correction.

    It is for 'furloughed' workers. Effectively you place your allocated staff on gardening leave, and the Government pays 80% of their wages up to £2500 per month and you pay 20% towards the wages. I..e if you have an junior negotiator earning an average 24k per year, that's £2000 per month. The government will pay £1600 of this and you pay £400 for them to effectively be off work in the expectation they then return to their previous role.

  • Rollo Miles

    It all depends how long the lock down last for .
    The figures speak for themselves.
    Most of our calls over last 2 weeks have been from tenants asking for rent reduction or wanting to move out early .
    If we do get someone who calls wanting to view a property , we can’t, for 99% of clients say no and it is not safe anyway for our agents to do viewings .
    Our businesses have ground to a holt overnight . Our short term letting operation his full of cancellations because people can not move .
    After 5 years of Brexit uncertainty most companies do not have cash reserves .
    For us it is very tricky for most of our agents are self employed and so far they will get zero support despite paying their taxes and contributing to society like everyone else.
    These are not good times and I guess we are all as confused and trying to find the right path for our colleagues , families and friends.

  • icon

    Marc you should read " Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds Summary"....written nearly 200 yrs ago but still reflects the "madness" of crowds !


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