06/04/2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Businesses and Employers Bulletin 3 April 2020

Please find below the latest Business and Employers Bulletin from Government from Friday 3rd April.

This bulletin includes:

  • A commitment by Government to strengthen the offer for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme for Small Businesses, stopping lenders from demanding personal guarantees on loans of less than £250K. Government will pay the first 12 months of interest and fees
  • An extension of the Business Interruption Scheme to large businesses. This scheme will provide a government guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans up to £25m to firms with a turnover of between £45 million and £500 million that are impacted by Covid-19 and unable to access finance on normal commercial terms. The government’s guarantees will give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to viable businesses who would otherwise not be able to access loans, due to the unprecedented uncertainty in the economy caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Viable UK-based businesses with a turnover of between £45 million and £500 million which are unable to access finance on normal commercial terms will be eligible to apply for a loan under the scheme.
  • The ‘Pay it Forward’ campaign through the Crowdfunder platform and supported by Enterprise Nation. This will provide a mechanism for micro- and small businesses to ‘pre-sell’ services, to ensure continuous cash flow. All platform charges and fees will met by Enterprise Nation

Advice from HMRC on Statutory Sick Pay
During the budget, the Chancellor announced details about a new coronavirus (COVID-19) Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme. This scheme will allow small and medium sized employers, with fewer than 250 employees, to apply to HMRC to recover the costs of paying Statutory Sick Pay to their employees. HMRC has now published new online guidance which includes information about who can use the scheme and the records employers must keep.

HMRC is working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers. Details about when the new Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme can be accessed and when employers can make a claim will be announced as soon as possible.
 
Teleconference with Paul Scully, Minister responsible for Small Businesses, Consumers and Labour Markets

On Tuesday, 7th of April, Leather UK will participate in a teleconference for associations in the Consumer Goods Association, with Paul Scully, Minister responsible for Small Businesses, Consumers and Labour Markets and Minister for London under Parliamentary Secretary of State. There is currently no agenda for the conference, but please share with us the difficulties you are facing and in particular, any issues you have encountered with the Coronavirus assistance schemes put in place by Government.

Contents

Chancellor of the Exchequer strengthens support on UK Government offer for business

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak is taking further action to support firms affected by the coronavirus crisis by bolstering business interruption loans for small businesses and announcing a new scheme for larger companies.

Extended Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) 

The UK Government has extended the CBILS so that all viable small businesses affected by COVID-19, and not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, will now be eligible, should they need finance to keep operating during this difficult time.

More than £90 million of loans to nearly 1,000 small and medium sized firms have been approved under the government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) since its launch last week.  And a UK government-backed scheme to provide financing to larger companies, being operated by the Bank of England, has also provided almost £1.9 billion of support to firms and a further £1.6 billion has been committed.

UK Government is also stopping lenders from requesting personal guarantees for loans under £250,000 and making operational changes to speed up lending approvals. The government will continue to cover the first twelve months of interest and fees. Please find further details here.

New Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)

The new CLBILS will ensure that more firms are able to benefit from UK government-backed support during this difficult time. It will provide a UK government guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans of up to £25 million to firms with an annual turnover of between £45 million and £500 million.

Loans backed by a guarantee under CLBILS will be offered at commercial rates of interest and further details of the scheme will be announced later this month. Please find initial details here.

Upcoming Webinars

UK Government’s Business Support Website has a list of upcoming webinar events from Government and non-government partners. You can find more information here.

HMRC are delivering a programme of webinars on measures to support employers, employees and the self-employed through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. You can watch a video of the recorded webinar on the HMRC YouTube channel Coronavirus – (COVID-19): helping employers to support employees

Update from the Prime Minister

The Prime Minister has posted an update on Twitter paying tribute to the huge effort everyone has made to delay the spread of the virus. He reiterates the importance for people to stay at home over the weekend, in spite of the expected warm weather.

See the update from the Prime Minister here.

New Updates and Guidance

Rules and regulations relaxed to support businesses

The Government has relaxed some rules and regulations to help businesses handle any disruption they are experiencing due to coronavirus. Click here for a list of some of the ways businesses are being supported.

Cash support for food redistribution during coronavirus outbreak

The government has announced a £3 million fund for organisations redistributing safe surplus food to those who need it during the coronavirus outbreak. Find out more here.

Pay it forward campaign - Supporting businesses through the coronavirus crisis

The Business Support campaign is working with Crowdfunder to build awareness about the support provided to small businesses through the Pay it Forward campaign. Small businesses can set-up a Pay it Forward campaign to pre-sell their services and diversify trading now to ensure continuous cash flow. Crowdfunder is covering all platform and transaction fees making it free to small businesses. Enterprise Nation is providing access to free training and support for business, to help with online sales, marketing, cashflow, and diversifying, if necessary. This campaign is nationwide and you can someone who is self-employed, a micro or small businesses can set-up a Pay it Forward campaign here.

Slides and datasets to accompany coronavirus press conference: 2 April 2020

Press conference slides and datasets used by Matt Hancock.

Slides and datasets to accompany coronavirus press conference: 3 April 2020

Press conference slides and datasets used by  Matt Hancock.

£20 million for ambitious technologies to build UK resilience following coronavirus outbreak

Businesses to help boost the UK’s resilience to the long-term impact of coronavirus and similar future situations as a result of £20 million government funding. Find out more here.

Data sharing during this public health emergency

Health and care information will be vital in our response to coronavirus. We must continue to use it well and inform the public to maintain and build trust. Find further information here.

Updates

Business rates: expanded retail discount – guidance

Guidance on the operation of expanded retail discount 2020 to 2021 coronavirus response, announced at Budget 2020. Guidance updated to confirm that the government’s assessment that the expanded retail discount is not a state aid, and that local authorities should therefore award relief to all eligible properties.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): business support grant funding - guidance for local authorities

Guidance for local authorities setting out details of the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF). The grant funding allocations by local authority have now been added.

MHRA guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19)

Guidance has been produced for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry covering the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Published a new page on Guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19) tests and testing kits.

Requests for Business Intelligence and Assistance

COVID-19: Call for rapid sanitising technology for ambulances

Do you have an innovative or novel approach to get ambulances cleaner quicker to help combat Coronavirus? Find out more here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): tell us if you can produce testing kits and services

Forms for organisations that can manufacture and supply testing consumables, equipment and laboratory PPE as part of the coronavirus (COVID-19) response.

Can your business offer coronavirus (COVID-19) support?

UK Government is looking for businesses who can offer support in multiple areas and has set up an online tool where businesses can register. To find the list of areas, and offer support, click here.

BusinessIntelligence: share the impact Coronavirus is having on your organisation
We welcome information from businesses on impacts across supply, demand and labour markets, actions to address these impacts, and any gaps in the Government response from your perspective. Please send your intelligence to intel@beis.gov.uk. We are aware that individual company information may be commercially sensitive, and it will be treated accordingly.  Please note that this inbox is only for receiving intelligence and does not provide business advice.
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 

Business Intelligence and Readiness Directorate

sed@beis.gov.uk

3 April 2020

 

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