White Label Creative - BUSINESS BRIEFING FROM GOVERNMENT'S COVID-19 PRESS CONFERENCE
Published: 08 Jun 2020
Please find below our round-up of essential business information from the government's daily press conference. We hope you find it useful.
Face coverings on public transport will be compulsory in England from 15 June to help stop the transmission of coronavirus as more people go back to work, transport secretary Grant Shapps announced at today’s Downing Street press conference.
The government will require people to wear face coverings on buses, trams, trains, tubes and other modes of public transport on the same day non-essential shops re-open.
Mr Shapps said "every precaution" must be taken as passenger numbers are expected to increase when lockdown measures are further eased.
The public will have to provide their own face coverings and fines may be imposed for anyone who flouts the new rules.
Airlines among businesses given Bank of England bailouts
Airlines, transport and travel companies are among the largest recipients of emergency funding under a Bank of England scheme to assist larger companies facing acute short-term cash flow problems as a result of the outbreak.
British Airways, easyjet, Ryanair and have all received hundreds of millions of pounds from the Bank's Coronavirus Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF).
Under the CCFF, the Bank buys commercial paper from the companies in exchange for a short-term loan repayable at rates of between 0.2 and 0.6%. To be eligible, firms have to be investment-grade rated, make a "material contribution" to the UK, and in sound financial health prior to the outbreak.
The CCFF has paid £16.18bn to 53 companies to date and is in a position to lend £67.7bn in total if required.
Government steps in with £10bn scheme to back trade credit insurance
The government is to guarantee trade credit insurance to ensure the market does not seize up because of the coronavirus crisis.
Trade credit insurance safeguards companies against the risk that their customers go bust before paying for goods they have ordered, helping businesses to trade with confidence. It covers about £171bn of business activity in the UK, between 13,000 suppliers and 650,000 customers.
But insurers have warned they face huge claims because of the COVID-19 crisis as companies under stress fail to pay their bills.
The government has now said it will provide guarantees of up to £10bn to Trade Credit Insurance schemes for business-to-business transactions. The Trade Credit Reinsurance scheme will support supply chains and help businesses during the coronavirus pandemic to trade with confidence, safe in the knowledge that they will be protected if a customer defaults or delays on payment.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Trade Credit Insurance is a daily necessity for hundreds of thousands of businesses across the UK – particularly those in non-service sectors such as the manufacturing and construction sectors.
“Our £10bn guarantee gives peace of mind to businesses, allowing them to continue to trade and maintaining liquidity in supply chains. This reinsurance scheme is an important step as we carefully set about firing up our economy as we emerge from the pandemic.”
The scheme is available on a temporary basis for nine months, backdated to 1 April 2020, and running until 31 December 2020, with the potential for extension if required.
Dairy response fund set to open for applications
Eligible English dairy farmers will be able to apply for up to £10,000 to overcome the impact of coronavirus thanks to a new dairy response fund due to open for applications on 18 June.
With some dairy farmers facing financial difficulties and excess milk due to the coronavirus outbreak, the new fund will provide up to £10,000 each to help those dairy farmers most in need of support to sustain their business.
This funding, which will be paid out from 6 July, will help farmers maintain production capacity without impacts on animal welfare, following reduced demand for milk products as restaurants, bars and cafes have closed.
Qualifying farmers can apply for support to cover up to 70% of their losses due to coronavirus disruption across April and May, up to a total amount of £10,000 each.
GOVERNMENT ADVICE WEBINARS
Selling services overseas during and after COVID-19, 10 June, 2:30pm
This Department for International Trade webinar will look at formulating your international plan, how to market your service, where in the world should you focus, developing effective relationships, and the top success factors. Register here.
HMRC Business support videos during COVID-19
Watch HMRC videos on running your business through coronavirus, coronavirus job retention scheme, self employment and income support scheme, statutory sick pay rebate scheme, helping employers support employees and other help available. Find videos here.
Working safely during coronavirus – find out how to make your workplace COVID-secure
Watch recordings of webinars covering 8 types of workplace settings here.
COVID-19 Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme
Providing an overview of the scheme, this webinar looks at who can claim, when to start paying SSP, employees you can claim for, making a claim, keeping records, and more. Choose a date and time.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – How to make a claim
This guides you through making a claim, including the essential information you need, what to do before you make your claim, calculating and processing your claim. Choose a date and time.
ADDITIONAL UPDATES AND GUIDANCE
Final date for the furlough scheme
The final date by which an employer can furlough an employee for the first time will be 10 June 2020, in order for the current three-week furlough period to be completed by 30 June 2020. Employers will have until 31 July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30 June. Further details can be found here.
Innovate UK: COVID-19 business support
An update on the support available to businesses from Innovate UK due to COVID-19 and advice for award holders.
Providing apprenticeships during the coronavirus outbreak
Guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations has been updated with information on which apprentices should be prioritised in the offer of face-to-face training from 15 June, and details of the flexibility that enables apprentices to take end-point assessment ahead of receiving their calculated functional skills qualification results.
Coming to the UK for seasonal agricultural work on English farms
Advice for seasonal agricultural workers coming to England to work on farms and their employers has been published. Find out more here.
Rural Payments Agency
Rural Payments Agency have rural payments, grants and services available including: Countryside Stewardship, Environmental Stewardship and the Basic Payment Scheme with a closing date of 15 June. Details on how to submit applications, claims and supporting documents during the coronavirus can be found here.
3D printing (additive manufacturing) of medical devices or component parts during the coronavirus pandemic
The requirements on manufacturing 3D printing will depend on whether the item is classed as a medical device or personal protective equipment (PPE). There has been an increased number of enquiries about the use of 3D printing to manufacture medical devices and personal protective equipment (PPE) during the coronavirus pandemic. Find out more here.
RESOURCES TO SUPPORT YOUR BUSINESS DURING COVID-19
You can go here to find out all the latest information about what funding and support is available for your business, managing your business during coronavirus and business closures. There is also a new ‘support finder’ tool to help businesses easily determine what financial support is available to them during the coronavirus pandemic through a quick and simple online questionnaire. You can find out more about the tool here.
The government has also launched a Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp which is now updated with business support advice. Text ‘hi’ to 07860064422 via Whatsapp and there are business support measures highlighted under option 5 with the relevant links to GOV.UK pages.
Contact the government’s business support helpline for free advice
Phone: FREEPHONE 0800 998 1098 Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm
HMRC have online help set up to help businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus.
The best way to get help from HMRC on any topic is to contact them online. Alternatively, you can call them on 0800 0159 559.
If your business needs more workers as a result of COVID-19, such as those in food logistics, preparation and retail, post vacancies on Find a Job.
Business Representative Organisations and Trade Associations are providing coronavirus related support for specific sectors.
The Coronavirus Business Support Blog from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is where you can find out how other businesses have used government support schemes and working safely guidance. There are currently a number of new case studies from businesses, including Aston Martin and KFC, which detail how they have been making their workplaces COVID-secure.