The Bank of England (BoE) on Wednesday took measures to help U.K. businesses and households weather possible economic disruptions due to coronavirus.

In a special meeting, the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to cut its bank rate by 50 basis points to 0.25% from 0.75%, the first time this has happened since August 2016.

The BoE also introduced a new term funding scheme with additional incentives for small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) financed by the issuance of central bank reserves.

The committee also voted unanimously to maintain the stock of U.K. government bond purchases, financed by the issuance of

Read more: BoE cuts bank rate to back UK businesses amid COVID-19