Click here to download a PDF of our latest weekly Keeping You Informed newsletter, or read it below.
Since the Prime Minister announced his first steps in easing us out of the lockdown in a bid re-start the economy, a series of further business support packages have been announced. Here we provide you with a roundup of these, from the furlough scheme extension to the government’s commitment to temporarily guarantee Credit Insurance Agreements.
For our next Voices for Kingston webinar, we have teamed-up with Kingston Chamber of Commerce to provide a session on Commercial Law Changes during Coronavirus. At 12pm on Tuesday 19 May, we will be joined by commercial law experts from Russell Cooke and Pearson Hard Solicitors, along with serviced office company City Skyline, to discuss recent changes and how they affect landlords and tenants. To register, click here.
Our contact details for business support and advice to our members is below.
Business Support Announcements and Updated Guidance
Furlough Scheme extended to October
On Monday, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a four month extension to the Job Retention Scheme. The scheme will continue in its current form – where workers will receive 80% of their current salary up to £2,500 – until the end of July. From August furloughed staff will be able to return to work part-time with businesses being asked to pay a percentage towards their salary. More specific details and information around its implementation will be made available by the end of this month. The extension is available for all businesses and industries.
Find Out More: visit the government’s website for full details.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme goes live
Yesterday applications opened for the government’s Self-Employment Income Scheme, designed to support those who are self-employed whose income has been impacted by the crisis. Payments will be paid in single instalments over a three month period and capped at £7,500. All eligible individuals who applied yesterday should receive payment by 25 May, or within six days of a completed claim.
Find Out More: see the government’s information page on eligibility and how to apply.
Government launches five Roadmap Taskforces
Yesterday, the Government announced the establishment of five new ministerial led taskforces, set up to develop plans for how and when closed sectors including pubs and restaurants, non-essential retail and recreation and leisure can re-open safely, this follows the launch of the government’s 50 page roadmap to rebuild Britain strategy on Monday. Each taskforce will lead on developing new COVID-19 secure guidelines for reopening. Details have yet to be announced around timings for when the guidelines will be made public and ready for businesses to start to implement.
Find Out More: To read the full guidance on the establishment of the taskforces, visit the government website.
Government steps in to temporarily guarantee trade credit insurance agreements
The Economics Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen, confirmed on Thursday that the government would temporarily guarantee all B2B transactions currently supported by Trade Credit Insurance in order to support those businesses who are unable to cover bills due to the crisis. Guarantees will provisionally run to the end of 2020, the government will then conduct a full review of the TCI market to ensure it can continue to support businesses in the future. Further details will be announced in the coming weeks.
Find Out More: Details to date can be found on the government website.
Transport Infrastructure Transformation
At the end of last week, the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps announced a £2 billion package to create a new infrastructure scheme for London that is being called a ‘new era for cycling and walking’. This is a part of the £5 billion in new funding announced for cycling and buses back in February. The project will be funded by the government but delivered by local authorities.
Find out More: for the full Cycling and Walking investments strategy click here.
Kingston Council updates
Mobile Coronavirus Testing Unit in Cattle Market Car Park
On Friday 15 and Saturday 16 May a Mobile Testing Unit will be set up in the Cattle Market Car Park as part of the government’s national testing programme.
Please note this is not a walk-in unit and all testing appointments have to be booked in advance through the Government’s national self referral portal. Bookings are only available for those identified as eligible – essential workers and members of their household who have symptoms, all over 65s with symptoms and all care home staff.
The government has announced plans for further grants for small businesses with ongoing property-related costs and COVID-19-related falls in income.
Guidance from government to Councils was only announced late this week, therefore recipients and criteria for this funding is yet to be established. At this stage, no action is required from businesses on this new fund. We will keep you updated.