News COVID-19: measures for UK businesses Strong economic recovery likely, but not certainA strong economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic is likely although many risks and uncertainties remain, according to a report from Oxford Economics. Over £31 billion borrowed through coronavirus schemesOver £31 billion has been borrowed through the government-backed schemes that are providing business support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, according to the latest figures from the Treasury. Manufacturers call for coronavirus supportThe coronavirus crisis has left many manufacturers on a cliff edge and in need of government intervention, Make UK has warned. Chancellor announces changes to Job Retention SchemeChancellor Rishi Sunak has announced changes to the government's Job Retention Scheme (JRS), which will be slowly wound down over the next few months. IPSE gives cautious welcome to extension of self-employed schemeThe government's decision to extend COVID-19 support for self-employed workers has met with a cautious welcome from the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE). Research shows 5.2 million people have fallen victim to scams during coronavirus crisisResearch carried out by insurer Canada Life has revealed that 5.2 million people in the UK have fallen victim to scams during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme goes liveOn 26 May, HMRC opened up its Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) rebate claim service. Government publishes revised Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme legislationThe government recently published revised legislation on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). Survey suggests one in ten firms cannot implement coronavirus guidance safelyA survey carried out by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has suggested that one in ten UK businesses feel they cannot implement government coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance safely. IPSE urges government to extend self-employed support schemeThe government is being urged to extend its coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) for as long as self-employed individuals require it. Future Fund launches to give start-ups coronavirus supportThe government has launched its Future Fund package, which aims to support start-up businesses not eligible for other coronavirus (COVID-19) rescue measures. Government set to launch Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate SchemeThe government is set to launch an online service to allow employers to recover the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payments they have made to their employees during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Loan size increased to £200 million under large business interruption schemeThe government is extending the maximum loan size available through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) from £50 million to £200 million. BCC survey suggests firms ready for gradual reopening of UK economyThe latest Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker survey carried out by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has suggested that UK businesses are ready for a gradual reopening of the UK economy and will 'embrace the new normal'. One million apply to self-employed grant scheme in 48 hoursA million self-employed workers whose income has been hit by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic made 440,000 applications for government grants during the first 48 hours of the scheme being open. Close to £15 billion lent through government's coronavirus schemesAlmost £15 billion has now been borrowed through government-backed schemes designed to help businesses get through the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, according to the latest figures from the Treasury. Chancellor extends Job Retention Scheme until OctoberChancellor Rishi Sunak has extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS) until the end of October. Self-employed grant scheme to open to applicationsSelf-employed workers whose income has been hit by the coronavirus crisis can apply for grants from the government from 13 May. HMRC extends tax appeal deadline due to pandemicHMRC has granted taxpayers extra time to appeal its decisions or penalties where the usual 30-day deadline cannot be met due to the coronavirus pandemic. Business groups need more guidance and financial support for return to workBusiness groups are asking for more guidance and continued financial support after Prime Minister Boris Johnson began easing the coronavirus lockdown. UK Finance warns firms over Bounce Back loan repaymentsTrade body UK Finance has warned small businesses to consider their ability to repay a Bounce Back loan before taking one out. HMRC begins contacting individuals eligible for coronavirus income support schemeHMRC has started to contact individuals who may be eligible for its coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). Over 110,000 businesses apply for Bounce Back loans on day oneMore than 110,000 small businesses applied for a Bounce Back loan on 4 May, the first day the scheme was available. Government changes ISA rules to help individuals affected by coronavirusThe government has altered the Lifetime ISA rules to help those adversely affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Business leaders eager for lockdown to ease, says IoDAccording to the Institute of Directors (IoD), business leaders are eager for information on how and when the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown will ease as fears grow over the long-term outlook for the UK economy. Lenders relax evidence requirements for business interruption loan scheme applicationsThe UK's seven largest small business lenders have relaxed their evidence requirements for applications to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). CIPD urges government to make Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme more flexibleThe Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has urged the government to modify the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and make it more flexible so that furloughed employees are allowed to carry out work on reduced hours for their existing employer where possible. Government launches small business micro loan schemeAs part of the government's measures to mitigate the economic damage caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a micro loan scheme for small businesses. FSB urges government to increase 80% guarantee on coronavirus business loansThe Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has urged the government to increase its 80% guarantee on emergency coronavirus (COVID-19) business interruption loans. Government launches support finder tool for businessesThe UK government has launched a new online platform to help businesses access financial support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. SMEs access £2.8 billion through business interruption loan schemeThe UK's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have accessed £2.8 billion in funding through the government's Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), according to data published by UK Finance. BCC finds significant number of UK businesses have furloughed employeesA survey conducted by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has found that over 70% of responding businesses have furloughed a proportion of their workforce. Coronavirus pandemic 'has already cost SMEs £277,000 each', research suggestsResearch carried out by online marketplace Fiverr has suggested that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has already cost UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) £277,893 each. Government unveils support package for innovative businesses affected by coronavirusThe government has unveiled a billion pound support package for innovative businesses affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19). Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme goes live as it is extended to end of JuneThe government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme went live on 20 April after Chancellor Rishi Sunak extended it until the end of June. Pensions regulator issues auto-enrolment guidance for pandemicThe Pensions Regulator (TPR) has issued guidance covering automatic enrolment and employer contributions during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Government widens eligibility for job retention schemeThe government has widened the eligibility criteria for furloughed employees who need to access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme by pushing back a key date. HMRC releases guidance on coronavirus Self-employment Income Support SchemeHMRC has released guidance on the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme set to launch on 20 AprilThe government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will launch on 20 April, according to HMRC. Chancellor announces financial aid package for charitiesOn 8 April, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £750 million package to help charities struggling during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Firms struggling to access emergency coronavirus loansUK businesses are struggling to access emergency loans provided by the government's coronavirus (COVID-19) business interruption loan schemes, according to a survey conducted by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC). UK economic output reduces to 31% as result of coronavirus lockdownResearch published by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has revealed that UK economic output has reduced to 31% as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown. Chancellor announces changes to Business Interruption Loan SchemeOn 3 April, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced changes to the COVID-19 Business Interruption Loan Scheme following criticism that businesses have struggled to access loans. Majority of UK firms have less than three months' cash reservesA significant number of UK firms face the prospect of running out of cash within three months, according to a survey carried out by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC). Government publishes details on coronavirus grant schemes for small businessesThe government has published details on the COVID-19 support schemes for small businesses and retailers. Directors on PAYE can furlough under job retention schemeCompany directors who receive salaries through Pay as You Earn (PAYE) are eligible for furlough under the government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Government relaxes insolvency rules during coronavirus pandemicThe government has relaxed the insolvency regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to give restructuring businesses time to continue trading. HMRC publishes guidance on recognising genuine government contactHMRC has published guidance on recognising genuine contact from the tax authority during the COVID-19 pandemic. HMRC urges businesses using VAT deferral to cancel direct debitsBusinesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and are seeking to make use of the VAT deferral have been urged to cancel their direct debits 'as soon as they can'. Chancellor unveils help for self-employed workersOn the 26 March, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a scheme to help self-employed workers who have been hit by the COVID-19 crisis. Government and financial regulators tell banks to keep lendingBritish banks must keep lending to businesses through the coronavirus crisis to ensure viable companies do not fail, the government and financial regulators have urged. UK facing 'worst recession in modern history'The UK economy is facing its 'worst recession in modern history'. COVID-19 Business Measures - job retention and tax deferralsWe set out a summary of the salary support and tax deferral schemes that were announced on 20 March 2020. Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme goes liveThe government's Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme went live for applications from today (23 March). Information for businesses and employersThe Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.