£1.25 Billion Coronavirus Package To Protect Firms Driving Innovation

Rishi Sunak, chancellor of the Exchequer, has announced a £1.25 billion coronavirus package to help UK firms driving innovation, including a £500 million investment fund for high-growth businesses affected by the pandemic.

In addition, there will be £750 million of targeted support for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are focusing on research and development.

The aim of this targeted and tailored help is to make sure that companies working in some of the most dynamic sectors of the economy, everything from tech to life sciences, are protected at this time so they can continue developing innovative new products while powering growth in the UK.

The Future Fund will be launched in May and delivered in collaboration with the British Business Bank, providing companies with between £125,000 and £5 million from the government, with private investors at least matching this commitment.

The £750 million of support for the most research and development-intensive SMEs will be made available through Innovate UK’s grants and loan scheme.

Mr Sunak said: “Britain is a global leader when it comes to innovation. Our start-ups and businesses driving research and development are one of our great economic strengths, and will help power our growth out of the coronavirus crisis.

“This new, world-leading fund will mean they can access the capital they need at this difficult time, ensuring dynamic, fast-growing firms across all sectors will be able to continue to create new ideas and spread prosperity.”

Leading forecasting group the EY Item Club has just published a report suggesting that it will take three years for the UK economy to fully recover from the fallout of the pandemic, the Guardian reports.

A month after lockdown measures were introduced, bringing huge parts of the economy to a grinding halt, the organisation has warned that nearly half of all consumer expenditure this year is at risk of being either delayed or lost altogether.

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