This summary was written by the GFirst LEP team. To follow all their updates and get the latest news, visit their website here.
Most recent announcements from The Chancellor
An extension of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to ensure all viable small businesses affected by COVID-19, rather than just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, will now be eligible should they need finance to keep operating during this difficult time.
The Government has also announced it will be stopping lenders from requesting personal guarantees for loans under £250,000, and will be making changes to speed up approvals.
The Government will continue to cover the first 12 months of interest fees.
A new Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) will provide a 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.
The full announcement can be read here.
Additional recent Government announcements include:
Cash support for food redistribution during the coronavirus outbreak to prevent food waste.
Update on deferring VAT payments because of coronavirus, clarifying that import VAT payments are not included.
Update to the guidance for local authorities setting out details of the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF), outlining information on state aid, monitoring and reporting requirements, post-payment checks and the eligibility of charities.
The 2020 National Living Wage came into effect on Wednesday 1 April.
The Business rates: expanded retail discount – guidance has been 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.
£50 million Heritage Emergency Fund launched
The National Lottery Heritage Fund has put together a £50 million fund to support the heritage sector as an immediate response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
It is available to organisations across the full breadth of the heritage sector, including historic sites, industrial and maritime heritage, museums, libraries and archives, parks and gardens, landscapes and nature.
To find out more, click here.
Gloucestershire Community Resilience Fund – Covid-19 Response
The purpose of the fund to is to support local voluntary sector agencies and community groups who are supporting vulnerable people during the Covid-19 crisis to cover additional costs they may incur due to increased activity or functions that they have insufficient resources to meet.
Click here for the full details.
Support local Gloucestershire businesses
In these difficult trading times, please try to support your local Gloucestershire businesses wherever you can, three simple ideas;
Don't cancel, modify
Support local businesses by modifying or postponing your conferences, award ceremonies, party bookings or hotel bookings rather than cancelling.
Order a takeaway / delivery service
Many restaurants, coffee shops and delis have adapted to the current circumstances by offering a takeaway and/or delivery service. Order a takeaway and in the comfort of your own home feel good knowing you are supporting a Gloucestershire business and keeping staff in jobs.
Buy gift cards online
Lastly, please consider purchasing gift cards at our local restaurants, shops, hotels or spas. They will be something to look forward to after these unsettled times are over.