Covid-19 update 03.04.2020


COVID-19 Business Loans scheme revamped

The Chancellor of the ExchequerRishi Sunak’s emergency loan scheme for businesses struggling to survive the coronavirus pandemic has been revamped.

Today the Treasury announced a wider package of measures to enable more businesses to access financial support during the COVID-19 lockdown. This included:

  • The introduction of a new Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) providing a Government guarantee of 80% to enable loans of up to £25m for firms with an annual turnover of between £45m and £500m. Loans backed by a guarantee under CLBILS will be offered at commercial rates of interest and further details of the scheme will be announced later this month. Please find initial details here.
  • The UK Government is also stopping lenders from requesting personal guarantees for loans under £250,000 and making operational changes to speed up lending approvals. The government will continue to cover the first twelve months of interest and fees. Please find further details here.
  • In addition the UK Government has extended the CBILS so that all viable small businesses affected by COVID-19, and not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, will now be eligible.

The Chancellor has said he will meet with chief executives of UK banks to discuss the implementation of the schemes next week.

Mr Sunak said: “We are making great progress on getting much-needed support out to businesses to help manage their cash flows during this difficult time – with millions of pounds of loans and finance being provided to hundreds of firms across the country.

“And now I am taking further action by extending our generous loan scheme so even more businesses can benefit.

“We have also listened to the concerns of some larger businesses affected by Covid-19 and are announcing new support so they can benefit too.

“This is a national effort and we’ll continue to work with the financial services sector to ensure that the £330bn of government support, through loans and guarantees, reaches as many businesses in need as possible.”

£20m for ambitious technologies to build UK resilience following coronavirus outbreak

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £20m to respond to new and urgent needs in UK and global communities during and following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Grants of up to £50,000 will be available to technology and research-focussed businesses to develop new ways of working and help build resilience in industries such as delivery services, food manufacturing, retail and transport, as well as support people at home in circumstances like those during the coronavirus outbreak.

The proposals will be reviewed as part of a competition launched by Innovate UK, seeking the best new ideas from businesses. The fast response competition closes at 12noon on 17 April. All the projects will begin by June 2020 and will last up to six months, with products and services expected to be available to the public towards the end of this year. Find out more and apply.


Rules and regulations relaxed to support businesses
The Government has relaxed some rules and regulations to help businesses handle any disruption they are experiencing due to coronavirus. Click here for a list of some of the ways businesses are being supported.

Cash support for food redistribution during coronavirus outbreak
The government has announced a £3 million fund for organisations redistributing safe surplus food to those who need it during the coronavirus outbreak. Find out more here.

Pay it forward campaign – Supporting businesses through the coronavirus crisis
The Business Support campaign is working with Crowdfunder to build awareness about the support provided to small businesses through the Pay it Forward campaign. Small businesses can set-up a Pay it Forward campaign to pre-sell their services and diversify trading now to ensure continuous cash flow. Crowdfunder is covering all platform and transaction fees making it free to small businesses. Enterprise Nation is providing access to free training and support for business, to help with online sales, marketing, cashflow, and diversifying, if necessary. This campaign is nationwide and you can someone who is self-employed, a micro or small businesses can set-up a Pay it Forward campaign 


UK Government’s Business Support Website has a list of upcoming webinar events from Government and non-government partners. You can find more information here.

HMRC are delivering a programme of webinars on measures to support employers, employees and the self-employed through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. You can watch a video of the recorded webinar on the HMRC YouTube channel Coronavirus – (COVID-19): helping employers to support employees




COVID-19: Call for rapid sanitising technology for ambulances
Do you have an innovative or novel approach to get ambulances cleaner quicker to help combat Coronavirus? Find out more here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): tell us if you can produce testing kits and services

Forms for organisations that can manufacture and supply testing consumables, equipment and laboratory PPE as part of the coronavirus (COVID-19) response

Can your business offer further support?

The UK Government is looking for businesses who can offer support in the multiple areas and has set up an online tool where businesses can register. To offer support click here. The support needed includes things like:

  • medical testing equipment
  • medical equipment design
  • protective equipment for healthcare workers, such as masks, gowns and sanitiser
  • hotel rooms
  • transport and logistics, for moving goods or people
  • manufacturing equipment
  • warehouse or office space, for medical use or storage
  • expertise or support on IT, manufacturing, construction, project management, procurement, engineering or communications
  • social care or childcare

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