BCC responds to announcement of the Bounce Back loans scheme

Take a look at our response to the Chancellor’s announcement of the Bounce Back loans scheme for micro businesses. Share with your members on social media.

Details of the new scheme are as follows:

Aimed at the UK’s smallest firms, the scheme will offer loans of between £2,000 and £50,000.
Businesses can borrow up to the value of 25% of their turnover up to a maximum of £50,000.
UK government will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee for the loan and pay any fees and

interest for the first 12 months. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months.

There will be a short, standardised online application to apply for a loan. There is no forward-looking

test of business viability or ‘complex’ eligibility criteria. Finance should reach businesses ‘within 24 hours’ of approval.

The scheme will launch for applications at 9am on Monday 4 May. Firms will be able to access

these loans through a network of accredited lenders.

Updated FAQs on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

The BCC policy team, alongside our colleagues at Quest have updated the CJRS FAQs in line with the latest government guidance. Contact the BCC policy team with any queries.

Essential workers: apply for a Coronavirus test

All essential workers and members of their households who are showing symptoms of Coronavirus can now book a test via the new online system. Employers can register and refer self-isolating staff and employees can book for themselves or members of their household who are experiencing symptoms.

Essential workers can enter their details and will then receive a text or email the same day inviting them to book an appointment at one of more than 30 drive-through testing sites across the country, or to receive a home testing kit.  Please note more allocations of tests are made available everyday.

Test results from the drive-through sites will be sent out by text within 48hrs, and within 72hrs of collection of the home delivery tests.

Anyone who thinks they are eligible and has symptoms and would like to be tested should speak to their employer or use the self-referral website to request a test. Find further information here.

DfE launches The Skills Toolkit

The Department for Education (DfE) has launched a new online learning platform-The Skills Toolkit to build skills in the UK during the Coronavirus outbreak and beyond.

The platform gives adults easy access to free, high-quality digital and numeracy courses at home to help them build up their skills, progress in work and boost their job prospects. Courses on offer will help people gain skills that employers demand and help kick start the UK’s economic recovery.

Promote this new resource by engaging with DfE social media (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) and use DfE’s marketing toolkit to signpost The Skills Toolkit with your members.

Changes to Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

UK Chambers should be aware of the recent changes to CBILS listed below and share with your members:

1. The viability test has been amended to remove the requirement for lenders to include a ‘forward-         looking’ element.
2. Removing the per-lender portfolio cap, making the guarantee a simple 80%.