The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claim portal opened at 8am yesterday and has already received claims for more than a million workers.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed at today's press conference that 140,000 firms have already applied for the grants which would fund the pay of up to a million employees. He said firms applying today will receive cash in six working days and the government would continue to provide updates.
The Chancellor has also announced a one month extension to the scheme, meaning it is open until the end of June, to reflect continuing lockdown measures.
HMRC is also holding live webinars providing an overview of the scheme to help employers and employees deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus. Register for a live webinar here.
The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which has been expanded to cover all viable firms with a turnover of more than £45million, was also been launched today. It will be available through a series of accredited lenders, which will be listed on the British Business Bank website.
£1.25bn for the 'innovation and enterprise' the UK needs for post COVID-19 economic recovery
The government has announced a £1.25bn package to support innovative companies lead the UK economic recovery.
Speaking at today's Downing Street press conference, Mr Sunak said: "We have never seen an economic crisis like this one.
"The goal of the schemes (to date) has been to maintain as many people as possible in their existing jobs, to support viable business to stay afloat and the incomes of the self-employed to allow them to trade again. This has been to retain our economy's productive capacity so we can bridge through this crisis.
"But we are also sowing the seeds of our ultimate recovery. As we look ahead and start to plan for our recovery, it is critical we encourage business, and create jobs for the future.
"Innovation and Enterprise have powered our countries for centuries and it is what will we drive our growth for the next centuries."
The Chancellor announced two schemes, both due to launch in May. They include:
- a new £500m loan scheme for high-growth firms, called the Future Fund,
- £750m of targeted support for small and medium sized businesses focusing on research and development
Mr Sunak said the targeted and tailored help would ensure firms in some of the most dynamic sectors of the UK economy - ranging from tech to life sciences - are protected through the crisis so they can continue to develop innovative new products and help power UK growth.
Delivered in partnership with the British Business Bank, the fund will provide UK-based companies with between £125,000 and £5m from the government, with private investors at least matching the government commitment. These loans will automatically convert into equity on the company's next qualifying funding round, or at the end of the loan if they are not repaid.
The £750m of targeted support for the most R&D intensive small and medium size firms will be available through Innovate UK's grants and loan scheme, Innovate UK.
More information on the detail behind the scheme can be found in the headline terms.
ADDITIONAL NEW GUIDANCE RELEASED TODAY
Women in Innovation 2020: new funding announced
Innovate UK has announced a new wave of Women in Innovation Awards to find and support the UK's most promising female innovators. Up to 10 women will secure £50,000 each as well as a bespoke programme of coaching, mentoring and innovation growth support.
Competition rules temporarily relaxed to allow dairy industry to work together more during coronavirus crisis
The government will temporarily relax elements of UK competition law to support the dairy industry through the coronavirus outbreak. With the UK's dairy farmers producing over 40 million litres of milk every day, the legislation, which will be laid shortly, will allow the industry to adapt to changes in the supply chain including decreased demand from the hospitality sector and reduced collection by retailers who have had to close. Details are available here.
Financial support for education, early years and children's social care
Funding and financial support available for education, childcare and children's social care organisations. Find out more here.
Rules you need to follow if you're exporting 'non-harmonised goods' to the UK
Mutual recognition of goods
Updated guidance for funeral directors
Public Health England (PHE) has issued further guidance for those managing or organising funerals during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance aims to ensure that bereaved people are treated with sensitivity, dignity and respect, while protecting individuals, communities and those in the funeral industry from the risk of infection.
Updates for companies wanting to get involved in developing smart meter-enabled electric vehicle charging points for on-street and workplace charging
Smart meter-enabled electric vehicle (EV) charging trial: Beyond Off Street