AWBP Update: Coronavirus: Business Support, Information & Guidance
Message from AWBP Chair, Andrew Swayne
It’s good to see more progress in issuing the business grants, as the team has now issued 1,280 (51% of eligible businesses) as at 21st April. It’s interesting how the press pick up on incomplete stories and it shows it’s always wise to check your data! It will be interesting to see how well the Job Retention Scheme mechanism works as many businesses will be making use of this locally.
Many thanks to the businesses who are supporting the national effort either by increasing their normal activities or undertaking new things and donating to the NHS and Care Homes. I’m not going to pick out any one business in this edition but we would like to start sharing your proactive stories from next week.
As with last week, I encourage you to continue to highlight to your employees the extent of volunteering opportunities that are available to assist in the community response effort across Adur and Worthing. Please do continue to share the message.
And finally, it’s quite clear that lockdown will last until early May (at the earliest) and let’s hope the plan to relax the situation becomes clear so that we can all plan for recovery as quickly as is safe.
Billion pound support package for innovative firms
UK businesses driving innovation and development will be helped through the coronavirus outbreak with a £1.25 billion government support package.
The targeted and tailored will help ensure firms in some of the most dynamic sectors of the UK economy – ranging from tech to life sciences – are protected through the crisis so they can continue to develop innovative new products and help power UK growth.
The comprehensive package includes a new £500 million loan scheme for high-growth firms, called the Future Fund, and £750 million of targeted support for small and medium sized businesses focusing on research and development.Further information will be provided shortly, however the press release can be found here.
Government launches new coronavirus business support finder tool
A new ‘support finder’ tool was launched by the Government on 20th April to help businesses and self-employed people across the UK to quickly and easily determine what financial support is available to them during the coronavirus pandemic.
The finder tool asks businesses to fill out a simple online questionnaire, which can take minutes to complete. The business will then be directed to a list of all the financial support they may be eligible for.
The finder tool can also be accessed here.
Job Retention Scheme opens for applications
The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme went live on 20th April, with businesses able to claim up to £2,500 a month towards staff wages.
Employers can apply for direct cash grants through HMRC’s new online portal - with the money expected to land in their bank accounts within six working days.
The job retention scheme, announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of a package of support to protect jobs and businesses, allows employers to claim for a cash grant of up to 80% of a furloughed employee's wages, capped at £2,500 a month.It’s becoming clear that claims need to be very detailed and correct before they are submitted. We understand amendment is difficult. Please follow the instructions in full.To access this support please click here.
Processing ramps up on Business Grants
Adur & Worthing Councils continue to process the Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund on behalf of central government. Over 2,000 businesses have now registered for the claim, out of 2,500 that are eligible. The Councils’ have now processed 51% of these claims as the pace picks up to get these grants to eligible businesses.
We urge those eligible businesses that haven’t uploaded their information yet to do so, as we are keen that all businesses take advantage of of this one-off grant payment.
Further details on the schemes and registration process can be found here.