Business Support Announced In The Budget
The other day during the chancellors budget speech he announced that a package of measures will be set in place to provide support for public services, individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19.
The United Kingdom is well prepared for these outbreaks and will continue to take necessary precautions to protect the public, including engaging with key industry partners to discuss their preparedness planning. During the budget speech the chancellor outlined a package of support.
A new loan scheme the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will allow businesses with a turnover of no more than £41m to apply for a loan of up to £1.2m, with the government covering up to 80% of losses with no fees.Unlocking up to £1 billion for protecting and supporting smaller businesses during the coronavirus outbreak.
For any businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the costs of providing SSP (Statutory Sick Pay) for 14 days will be refunded fully by the government. This will cover 2 million businesses with up to £2bn to cover the costs of large-scale sick leave.
A helpline has also been introduced to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities to receive support with their tax affairs. Through this, businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement.
A £3,000 cash grant will be delivered by local authorities to 700,000 of the smallest businesses, worth a total of £2 billion.
Bank of England Measures to Respond To The Economic Shock From COVID-19
The Bank of England have announced a comprehensive package of measures to help the UK businesses and households bridge across economic disruption that could be associated with COVID-19. Interest rates have been reduced to 0.25% and additional funding will be available for banks to increase lending, especially with SMEs.
Online Resources For Businesses And Employers
For the most recent information and advice, employers and business owners should visit guidance for employers and businesses.
- Guidance on advice to provide to staff including: how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and what to do if someone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 has been in a workplace setting.
- Information on support available to businesses that COVID-19 have impacted
- Advice on Travelling
- ACAS published information for employees and employers, this includes simples steps to help protect health and safety of staff, sick pay and absence from work.
- A number of private lenders are also making funds available to small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19, including £2 billion from Lloyds Banking Group and £5 billion from Natwest
The government also advise that businesses build their own resilience by reviewing their business continuity, developing and understanding the potential impacts to their supply chain, customers or other factors critical to their operations.
Public Health Advice – Business Continuity
The government advise that business continue as usual, as there is presently no reason businesses or individuals should stop carrying out their daily activities as they normally would.
- No reason at present to close your workplace, cancel meetings or large-scale events or initiate working from home.
- No need to close your workplace or send other staff home if a suspected case has recently been in the workplace, unless directed to do so by the local Public Health England Health Protection Team.
- Businesses not advised to cancel travel, except to at risk regions. FCO travel advice remains under constant review.
- Employees should continue to follow existing risk assessments and safe systems of work. There is no perceived increase in risk for handling post or freight from specified areas.
- Sector specific guidance can be found on the GOV.UK for care professionals, workers in education and other affected sectors.
This is a rapidly evolving situation, which is being monitored carefully. Any change of guidance will be based on scientific evidence. The Governments approach is clinically led, based on the expert advice of the UK’s Chief Medical Officer for England, the NHS and Public Health England. Businesses should check for daily updates at GOV.UK and subscribe to receive email alerts to ensure they are acting on the most up to date information.
Requests For Business Intelligence: How Is COVID-19 Impacting Businesses?
The Government is closely monitoring developments in relation to potential economic impacts on the UK economy and individual businesses and supply chain and are keen that businesses feed back any specific concerns.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy are seeking business intelligence on how the virus is impacting businesses and business sectors. Information is welcomed on the following:
- The impacts across supply, demand and labour markets
- Actions being taken by firms to address these impacts
- Any gaps in the Government response from your perspective
This information can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All updated information on COVID-19 by the Department for Health and Social Care and Public Health England can be found Here.
For specific advice for the Republic of Ireland please Click Here
For specific advice for the Scottish District please Click Here