Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. We hope you and your family are safe and doing well. Read on for this week’s update.
UK to Map Out Next Steps in COVID-19 Recovery Plan
UK’s finance minister Rishi Sunak will soon announce the next steps in preventing a wave of job cuts from snowballing into an unemployment crisis. The announcement will include a 2 billion-pound fund to create six-month work placement jobs for unemployed 16-24 year-olds and the largest ever rise in partly government-funded apprenticeships.
He said he will separately spend 3 billion pounds to improve the energy efficiency of homes and public buildings which would support more than 100,000 jobs. Sunak is also reportedly considering a cut to property purchase taxes and value-added tax, as well as giving away vouchers to boost spending at pubs, restaurants, and other hospitality firms which employ 2.4 million people but are struggling to cope with social distancing rules.
If your business is one of those which are permitted to open and you need further guidance on how to operate safely after a period of inaction, you can drop us an email. Also, feel free to get in touch with us if you need personalised business advice on how to bounce back stronger.
Businesses Showing Resilience in the Face of Adversity
Businesses have taken a hit over the previous months due to COVID-19, but some innovative companies in the United Kingdom found the silver lining. Below are some of the most creative ways businesses adapted to this unprecedented crisis:
- A Shropshire-based fashion boutique has diversified its business model through virtual shopping experiences, contactless local delivery, and free UK delivery.
- Cornwall’s only mobile zero waste shop that helps reduce everyday consumption of single-use plastic packaging by selling loose, package free food and home products is now offering home delivery too.
- A platform connecting barbers with customers to avoid DIY disaster has been launched.
- Because the pop-ups of a small fashion, beauty, and lifestyle omnichannel startup supporting independent brands have been out of action, it launched a shoppable window on South Molton Street.
You can read their inspiring stories here. If you want to talk about your specific situation, please get in touch with us and we’ll help you work out a strategic plan to come through stronger than ever and build a successful future-proof business.
What funding is available for your business?
To cover the impact of the crisis, there are grants made available by the government such as the £1.25b Future Fund and R&D rescue package for fast growth businesses and smaller businesses with a Research & Development focus. The UK government has recently expanded this rescue package for start-ups to include those whose parent companies are based abroad. So far, start-ups have received £320 million through the Future Fund, and the government says it is willing to increase the fund’s size if necessary.
There is also the Small Business Grant Fund, which is a one-off grant of £10,000 that supports small businesses that pay little or no business rates as a result of small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR), and tapered relief.
If your business has been severely hit by COVID-19 and you need more support, the government is giving small- and medium-sized businesses access to financial support through various initiatives such as the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), where you can get up to £50,000 no-interest loans for the first 12 months, and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which offers a maximum loan of £5 million made available through commercial banks.
You can also claim for 80% of your employee’s wages plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions if you have put them on furlough because of COVID-19 under the Job Retention Scheme, which has been recently extended until the end of October. You can check your eligibility here.
With all the financial assistance schemes available for businesses, it can be difficult to assess which one is suitable for your business. Let us help you evaluate your options by leaving us a message.
Please feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions.