Coronavirus: What the latest announcements mean for West Sussex as government pledges to support families and businesses

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised help for families and businesses as the UK continues to try to cope with the spread of coronavirus – but what does this mean for West Sussex?

Tuesday, 17th March 2020, 8:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th March 2020, 9:24 pm

There are currently ten confirmed cases of the coronavirus in West Sussex, according to the latest figures from Public Health England.

Addressing the public today (Tuesday, March 17), Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have pledged further action on top of measures announced in last week's budget to help families and business affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Among the extra help just announced is:

The number of coronavirus cases in West Sussex reached double figures today

– Government backed and guaranteed loans of £330bn to support companies

– £10,000 cash grants for smaller firms

– A potential support package specifically for airlines and airports

– An extension of the business rate holiday announced in the budget

– A three-month mortgage payment holiday for homeowners

A range of stringent new measures were announced by the Prime Minister yesterday evening in the effort to curb the spread of coronavirus. One major piece of advice was that everyone should avoid gatherings and crowded places, such as pubs, clubs and theatres.

In response to this guidance, a number of businesses, unsurprisingly, announced today that they would temporarily close.

First to reveal its closure was The Goose in Worthing. In a post on Facebook, the owners wrote: “We believe that this is the right thing to do and our decision is a social one over a commercial one."

Several companies, including Chichester Festival Theatre and The Hawth, in Crawley, followed suit today. In the film industry, Cineworld and Odeon and The Dome Cinema in Worthing announced their temporary closures.

For these businesses, large and small, it is unclear how great of an impact this new government funding will have but time will tell.

Do you run a local business? How much of a difference do you think this funding will make? Get in touch via Facebook or email.