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.


HMRC has produced this step by step guidance on how to make a claim. There is also a calculator to help you work out your claim. Click here to make a claim.


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.


This complements existing support including the Covid Corporate Financing Facility and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme for small and medium sized businesses.


£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.





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