Business leaders in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire welcome government drives to help companies during lockdown

Business leaders in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire have welcomed measures aimed at helping companies in the region to sustain through the coronavirus pandemic coming into effect.

Tuesday, 21st April 2020, 8:11 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 8:36 am

The online portal for the UK’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme portal goes live today, April 20, meaning affected businesses can apply for financial assistance.

Any firms which have ‘furloughed’ employees because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic can apply for a grant that covers 80% of their usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions.

Commenting on the portal’s launch, Scott Knowles, Chief Executive of East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire), said: “The opening of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be welcomed by affected businesses, which will now be able to start accessing the financial support they need to pay staff and protect jobs.

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Scott Knowles, Chief Executive of East Midlands Chamber

“While the Government deserves credit for the way it has responded to the current crisis by introducing a substantial package of measures to provide the financial support that businesses need, its focus must now be on ensuring it is delivered as quickly, smoothly and efficiently as possible so affected employees can be paid without delay.”

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Meanwhile, the Chamber has also welcomed the launch of a separate initiative to help larger businesses affected by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The new Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) aims to provide the UK’s larger employers with access to temporary emergency funding. It means firms with turnover of between £45m and up to £250m can borrow up to £25m, while firms with turnover of more than £250m can borrow up to £50m.

The scheme provides lenders with a Government-backed partial (80 per cent) guarantee against the outstanding facility balance and is open to businesses which have not received a facility under the Bank of England's Covid Corporate Financing Facility.

It will be available through a range of lenders and partners accredited by the British Business Bank.

Mr Knowles added: “The UK’s larger businesses are facing different but no less critical pressures to their SME counterparts, so this latest intervention, provided it delivers what’s intended, will provide welcome relief. Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business.”

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