The chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak has said he will make available up to £330bn in guaranteed loans for businesses struggling in the face of Covid19, with further loans offered if needed.

While the events industry was not mentioned specifically, the measures should apply to some organisations.

Following on from his first Budget last week, the chancellor has gone further to say no leisure, retail or hospitality organisations will pay business rates this year. These businesses will be entitled to cash injections of up to £25,000.

He said: “The government will stand behind businesses small and large. I can announce today an unprecedented package of government backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses to get through this. Today I’m making available an initial £330bn equivalent to 15% of our GDP.

“That means any business has access to cash to pay their rent, their salaries, their suppliers or to purchase stock will be able to access a government backed loan or credit on attractive terms. And if demand is greater than the initial £330bn I’m making available today, I will go further and provide as much capacity as required.”

Whether the entire events industry can be classified under leisure or hospitality is contentious.

He went on to say that he is also making grants worth £10,000 available to the smallest firms.

To support liquidity among larger firms, the chancellor has agreed a facility with the Bank of England, and for smaller firms has had the business interruption loan scheme extended to them, with loans of up to £5m now available.

Both schemes will be available week commencing 23 March.