In the latest Budget on March 11th, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, warned that up to 20 per cent of the UK’s workforce could be off at any one time due to COVID-19 (coronavirus), which will disrupt businesses and consumer cashflow. In response to this, the Chancellor announced a £7 billion support package for small businesses including tax cuts, loans and grants, and a coronavirus business interruption loan scheme.

Specialist cover provider for independent businesses, The Retail Mutual, has also responded by offering support and clarity to its Members in the event that their businesses should be impacted by the coronavirus.

Mutual Manager of The Retail Mutual, Kirsty Hampton, said: “Retail and hospitality businesses are paramount to the UK economy, and the coronavirus is likely to hit the smallest independents hardest. Despite the latest reports on consumer confidence in the UK improving in February, our feeling is that footfall is down and this will have an impact on retailers.

“If a Retail Mutual Member’s premises are closed by local authorities due to staff being taken ill with the coronavirus, or if their premises faces closure by local authorities due to suspected contact with the virus and require a deep clean, they may be covered. As a discretionary mutual, we can support independent businesses at this time and are able to consider claims beyond the standard scope of cover.”

“The Chancellor’s announcements following yesterdays’ Budget from the government, including the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme and business rate cuts, will have a significant impact on the resilience of independent businesses during this uncertain period for the UK economy.”

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