SMALL businesses say they need immediate access to the Chancellor's 'unprecedented' financial support to survive.

In York, the city's is usually a thriving space for small and independent businesses, with many now fearing they are on the brink of closure.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak's £330 billion loan pledge yesterday included loan guarantees, business rates breaks and cash grants to support small firms impacted by coronavirus.

The business interruption loan scheme will now provide loans of up to £5 million to small firms, interest free for six months, from next week.

Business rates for the retail, leisure or hospitality sectors have been put on hold while those who qualify for the Retail Discount can access cash grants of up to £25,000 and all small firms eligible for small business rates relief can access cash grants of up to £10,000.

The Federation of Small Businesses said it would work with Government to ensure this package covers the self-employed.

National Chairman Mike Cherry said the measures marked "a hugely important intervention".

"Itt’s good to hear the Chancellor pledging to do more in the days ahead.

“Small firms are having their futures threatened in the here and now. They need support in the here and now.

“This unprecedented package of loan guarantees, business rates breaks and cash grants marks a hugely welcome step forward. The key now is to deliver these measures within the coming days with no hold ups at banks, local authorities or central government.

“Some small businesses are already on the brink – they need time and space from landlords, HMRC and lenders over the next few days before these interventions take effect.

“Clearly small employers will need a huge amount of support to keep staff on their books at this hugely difficult time, so it was good to hear the Chancellor pledging to develop an Employment Support Package to help make that possible.

"We will be working together with the Government to ensure the employment package provides for the self-employed.

“In what will be difficult days ahead for the small firms that make-up 99 per cent of our business community, the Chancellor has today made it clear that the Government will back them – we will continue to press for any and all measures needed. Support must be delivered in every nation and region of the UK.”