Covid19 -Update on business support

Published: 21 May 2020

Recent developments from the Government Covid-19 business support programme


Bounce Back Loans

On 4th May the government launched its new Bounce Back Loans. The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000.
The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months.

Loan terms will be up to six years. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. The government will work with lenders to agree a low rate of interest for the remaining period of the loan. The scheme will be delivered through a network of accredited lenders.

Discretionary grants

The government has announced a discretionary business grant fund aimed at small businesses, voluntary organisations and charities with premises. The guidance for this scheme was published last week (13th May) and we are working to launch the fund as soon as possible. Keep an eye on the business support pages for updates on this fund.

This comes on top of many other financial support schemes aimed at helping businesses and the self-employed through the crisis. To find out which you and your business may be eligible for the government has produced a simple online tool.

So far we have re-issued 940 business rates bills to make available the 100 per cent business rates holiday for retail, leisure, hospitality and nurseries and made more than 2800 Business Support Grants totalling £34.7M.

Some eligible businesses still have not made an application for the Business Support Grants you can do so on our website.

COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant

Surplus food image

Food distribution organisations are playing a vital role in ensuring surplus food can reach people in need or those considered most vulnerable, whilst also preventing this essential resource from becoming waste.

As part of the UK Government's collaborative response to supporting key infrastructure throughout this difficult time, Defra is making £3.25m available through the Resource Action Fund administered by WRAP. The COVID-19 Emergency Surplus Food Grant will be delivered in three phases.

The aim of the grant is to assist surplus food redistributors in overcoming challenges that they are currently facing in obtaining surplus food from food businesses (such as retailers and food manufacturers) and distributing this to people in need or those considered vulnerable. The grant can be used to fund both capital and revenue costs associated with redistribution activities such as:
• access to surplus food through logistical collections;
• sorting, storing, freezing, labelling / repackaging food; and
• onward distribution of food to charities or end beneficiaries.

Please click here for more information.

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Free DfE Skills Toolkit offers help with employment skills

DFE Toolkit Picture

Department for Education (DfE) have launched the Skills Toolkit, a new online platform giving people easy access to free, high-quality digital and numeracy courses to help them build up their skills, progress in work and boost their job prospects.

The platform offers a range of courses at all levels, from introductory to advanced, which were chosen in consultation with top businesses and education experts. It’s open to everyone, whether they have recently been furloughed and want to learn new skills, are out of work and looking to build up their CV, or if they’re just keen to keep their mind healthy and skills sharp during this time.

You can access the toolkit here - please note that all courses on the Skills Toolkit are UK wide.

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