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Business Support Update – COVID19

Additional Grant Funds available…

A discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme. The government is extending their small business grants of up to £25,000 to businesses in managed premises. Local authorities will be asked 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. We will find out exactly how much will be made available to our Local Authorities shortly and how these discretionary funds will be shared out. More information HERE.

Firms ready to restart within three weeks, say British Chambers of Commerce… 

Most firms believe they could be ready to restart business with just three weeks’ notice, according to the latest British Chambers of Commerce Coronavirus weekly survey of firms. The survey suggests that businesses that offer services to other business are the most ready, with two-thirds saying they would need less than one week or no notice at all to restart operations.

“Businesses’ ability to restart quickly varies by company size and by sector,” said BCC director general Dr Adam Marshall.

Fewer than half of firms serving consumers said they were confident of being ready that quickly.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme – a great start…

More than 69,000 Bounce Back Loans worth over £2 billion have been approved during the first 24 hours of the scheme, the Chancellor has announced – more information HERE.

The seven largest lenders (Barclays, Danske, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS, Santander and Virgin Money) received more than 130,000 Bounce Back Loan Scheme applications on the first day of the scheme (May 4). Over 69,000 of these have been approved on the first day, and lenders are working hard to process and approve the rest as quickly as possible.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said: “Small businesses will be the driving force of our recovery from the pandemic, creating jobs and securing economic growth.

“These loans will help them bounce back from this crisis – getting money fast – so it’s great to see more than 69,000 business benefitting in just the first day. It’s vital this speedy progress continues in the days and weeks ahead.”

For more information on applying for a Bounce Back Loan, click HERE.

And locally in East Sussex, Lloyds Bank’s Commercial Manager, Stuart Walter confirmed on LinkedIn that he has signed off 22 new lending applications since lockdown under CBILS and has also agreed 30 capital repayment holidays to support businesses during this difficult time. As a former banker, I’m pleased to see local evidence of the banks ‘walking the walk’…