BCC sets out principles for safe restart of UK economy

BCC President, Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith, has written an open letter to the Prime Minister setting out principles for a phased restart of the UK economy. Take a look at BCC’s recent press release, the letter and our proposed principles. This is the first phase of our restart, rebuild and renew approach to this work. We will be publishing further communications outputs around the rebuild and renew phase in due course. Share with your members on social media.

BCC responds to the government’s discretionary fund for small businesses

The UK government has announced a £617m discretionary fund to local authorities in England to help small businesses impacted by Coronavirus who were previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme. Local authorities are able choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need. However, the UK government has asked local authorities 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.  There will be three levels of grant payments with £25,000 as the maximum grant.

Take a look at our response following the announcement and share with your members on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) now open for applications

The Bounce Back Loan scheme will offer loans from £2,000 up to 25% of a business’ turnover or £50,000, whichever is lower. The UK government will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee for the loan and pay any fees and interest for the first 12 months. The government has then set the interest rate for this facility at 2.5% per annum for subsequent years. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months. Length of the loan is for six years. There will be a short, standardised online application to apply for a loan. The scheme can be accessed through a network of accredited lenders. More information is available on our Coronavirus hub.

Update on Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has updated their guidance on the SEISS:

From today, they will begin contacting people who may be eligible for the Self-Employment Income        Support Scheme.
The claims service will open on 13 May.
Those eligible will have the money paid into their bank account by 25 May, or within six working              days of completing a claim.

People who may be eligible can now go online to check their eligibility. Take a look at the details here.