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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Businesses and Employers Bulletin - 4 May 2020

04 May 2020

Apply for a coronavirus Bounce Back Loan

The new Bounce Back Loans scheme is now open for applications. The scheme allows small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days.

The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there wonít be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. Loan terms will be up to 6 years. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. The government has also agreed with lenders that an affordable flat rate of 2.5% interest will be charged on these loans. Businesses can apply online through a short and simple form. You can find further information about the scheme, including eligibility, here.

The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders and will run alongside the existing Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS). 

Top-up to local business grant funds scheme

discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses in England previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme. This additional fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. Local authorities are being asked to prioritise businesses in shared spaces, regular market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief, and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates.

Businesses must be small, under 50 employees, and they must also be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop of income due to Coronavirus restriction measures. Local authorities may choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need.

The maximum grant will be £25,000. There will also be grants of £10,000. Local authorities will have discretion to make payments of any amount under £10,000. It will be for councils to adapt this approach to local circumstances.

Reminder: Webinars to support your business

Government departments are hosting a series of free webinars this week to help businesses understand the support available including: 

Keep up to date with all the latest available webinars here

New Updates and Guidance

New

£6.1 million funding boost to help high streets and town centres through pandemic

Business Improvement Districts in England will receive funding in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Find out further information here.

Government support package for universities and students

The Government has announced a range of measures to protect students and the higher education sector in England from the impact of coronavirus, including £100m from BEIS to help vital university research activities to continue during the crisis. Find further detail here.

Updates

Business support grant funding - guidance for businesses

Guidance for businesses setting out details of the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) has been updated with information on tax.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing: privacy information

The privacy notice on COVID-19 virus testing for critical workers and their household members who are self-isolating because they're showing symptoms has been updated to reflect the latest testing information.  

Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and canít do

Frequently asked questions on what you can and canít do during the coronavirus outbreak have been updated to reflect updated regulations and the latest PHE guidance.

Closing certain businesses and venues in England

Guidance on the closure of certain businesses and venues as part of further social distancing measures has been updated to further clarify the requirements of The Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020.

Requests for Business Intelligence and Assistance

Offer coronavirus support

Tell us how your business might be able to help with the response to coronavirus by using our online service.


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