Keeping your business open

With the exception of some non-essential shops and public venues, we are not asking any other businesses to close – indeed it is important for business to carry on.

However, you should encourage your employees to work from home unless it is impossible for them to do so.

Sometimes this will not be possible, as not everyone can work from home. Certain jobs require people to travel to their place of work – for instance if they operate machinery, work in construction or manufacturing, or are delivering front line services.

See the full guidance on work.

Many UK SME businesses are misunderstanding what the government instruction is… relating to COVID 19

All companies can carry on working, and the direction is that people should not breach social distancing. So Retailers, Pubs, Restaurants and Businesses that necessitate people to meet, Theatres, Clubs etcetera, should not open.

Remember that deliving your food or product to the customer is not only OK, in many ways for businesses it’s A unique opertunity. First you learn who and where your customers reside and secondly the delivery person, drives afficency as the customer will be available to receive the order.

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You can, however, trade if you can protect the public, your customers and perhaps most importantly, your employees.

Consider social distancing, don’t have teams travelling in the same vehicle. If you can work from home, do so, so clerical duties can continue. (more…)

On Thursday the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) complained of a “nightmarish” experience for business owners that have already tried to seek help from lenders.

The finance ministry said it will ban lenders from requesting personal guarantees for loans under 250,000 pounds — one of the FSB’s demands — and will make operational changes to accelerate approvals.

Banks have now been banned from requesting personal guarantees – which allow them to take a director’s property if they cannot pay funds back – on loans under £250,000. Most high street lenders have already promised to do this following a backlash but the government will now force all of them to act.

The government has also removed a requirement for businesses to demonstrate that they have no other means of accessing funding in an attempt to widen the scheme.

There have now been more than 130,000 enquiries from companies for the loans, according to new data from UK Finance.

But only 983 businesses have had their finance approved, with around £90 million of loans.

Companies trying to apply for the loans said banks had been demanding the guarantees and charging double-digit interest rates after the first interest-free 12 months.

The Treasury said all viable small businesses affected by coronavirus will now be eligible for the scheme and they will not have to offer any proof they have looked elsewhere first.

Mr Sunak also offered a lifeline for mid-cap businesses.

About 5,000 companies had been previously been too big for the loan scheme – which is capped at firms with turnover of £45m – and too small for Covid Corporate Financing Facility, which helps multinational companies.

A new Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme which will provide a government guarantee of 80pc for loans of up to £25m to firms with an annual turnover of between £45m and £500m.

More here

“We’re setting up a new coronavirus job retention scheme” says Chancellor Rishi Sunak “Government grants will cover 80% of the salary of retained workers, up to a total of £2,500 a month”
 

Rishi Sunak has been Chancellor for just a few weeks, but he has already earned a place in the history books for launching the biggest state intervention in the economy in recent history. Today, he unveiled a package of measures to support workers during the outbreak which will include the government paying the wages of staff who are unable to work as part of a ‘coronavirus job retention scheme’. A system of government grants will mean employees will get 80 per cent of their wages, up to a cap of £2,500 a month. There is no limit to the funding for the scheme, and pay will be backdated to 1 March and will continue for ‘at least’ three months.

Sunak appealed to bosses to keep their workers on and use this scheme, rather than laying them off, and also unveiled help for those who had already been put out of work. He is raising the Universal Credit allowance by £1,000 a year and self-employed people will receive UC at a level equivalent to statutory sick pay, while Local Housing Allowance will cover 30 per cent of rents in a local housing market.

 

Sunak and his colleagues drew up this plan with the help of the TUC, the CBI and others. It was still being finalised in the hour before the Downing Street press conference where it was announced and that perhaps explains why there are some holes in it. Self-employed workers are receiving far less than their PAYE counterparts. There is not yet clarity on the level of pay that will be set for those on zero hours contracts. These questions would be difficult for a government to answer at any time, but given the pace of change and the severity of the outbreak, it is hardly a surprise that the package isn’t perfect.

It also explains why ministers waited until today to tell pubs, clubs, cafes, restaurants and gyms to close their doors after tonight. Anything announced before the jobs package would have resulted in mass lay-offs, leading to an unemployment crisis.

 

Almost as striking as the unprecedented set of measures announced today was the way Sunak delivered them. He didn’t just stick to the money stuff, but delivered a moral message about the need for small acts of kindness between people to help the country through this crisis. It was the first reassuring, rousing message we’ve really heard from any frontline politician. Johnson is a leader who is happy to let his team shine rather than trying to hog the limelight, but there was an uncomfortable contrast between the two politicians this evening.

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The UK is angry, and Labour is about to be annihilated.

Let us not waste any time gloating, but thank god the people of the UK can be trusted to see the truth. Able to ignore the constant preaching of the Block Brexit Corporation, BBC. It makes you proud doesn’t!

Hang on, what was that loud bang in the BBC studio? Huw Edwards looked concerned. Pop! It was the sound of the London metropolitan bubble bursting.

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I knew we could count on the incredible common sense and the hard-working, endeavours of the SME community across the UK. Now can we get on with growing our businesses, contributing in just a small way to the overall economy? You know the one that generates all the wealth, that pays all the taxes.

 You know that employes all the workers, that use all the public service. The ones that we want to see supported by a consumerist buying, hardworking, tax-paying population. 

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