New chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed the government’s “fundamental review” of business rates will be completed in time for the autumn statement.

Delivering his first budget today, Sunak launched the long-promised fundamental review of business rates that will report in the autumn. A call for evidence will also be published in the spring.

The government confirmed that it would put in place temporary measures that would remove business rates for all businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 to help them survive the economic effects of the coronavirus outbreak.

Sunak also extended this to all leisure and hospitality businesses under the threshold, in a tax cut he said would be worth £1bn.

The government unveiled the “coronavirus business interruption loan scheme”, delivered by the British Business Bank, to support companies to access bank lending and overdrafts.

Sunak said the government would provide lenders a guarantee of 80% on loans up to £1.2m in value.

The chancellor called the virus “the key challenge facing our country today” and repeated government guidelines that up to a fifth of people could be off work at any one time during a wider outbreak. He also flagged that the virus would affect consumer spending.

“A combination of these issues will have a significant, if temporary, effect on the UK economy,” Sunak said.

However, despite the temporary business rates relief for small businesses and confirming the timeframe of the review, Sunak did not deliver any immediate relief for national retailers today.

On the business rates review, British Retail Consortium chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “The chancellor has shown he is capable of making bold decisions, this will be critical to the upcoming review of the broken business rate system. We welcome the stated objectives of reducing the rates burden on business, something we have been calling for, and the inclusion of changes to transitional relief as an option to provide short-term relief from April 2021.

“It is vital that the burden is reduced for all retailers – large and small – if it is to promote further investment in productivity growth and higher skilled, better paid jobs. We hope this open-minded approach carries through to implementing positive changes once the review has concluded later this year.”

New West End Company chief executive Jace Tyrell called on the chancellor to “widen his scope for rates relief and help the UK’s most significant shopping district survive and thrive in such a difficult time”.

Outgoing chief executive of Revo, Ed Cooke, said: “The chancellor has once again neglected to support larger retailers, who are major employers are drivers of economic activity in towns and cities across the UK, particularly in those communities that lent their votes to the Conservative Party last December.

“Attention will now turn to the business rates review, with the Chancellor seeming to have broken its fiscal neutrality rule in favour of ‘reducing the burden on business’ – if this is the case, it could be excellent news but must apply to retail and leisure occupiers of all sizes.

Real estate adviser Altus Group said while just 10% of retail properties in the UK are more than £51,000 in rateable value, they account for 69% of all business rates.

Budget: ‘Fundamental’ review of business rates to be completed by autumn