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[Update] Coronavirus (COVID-19): Business briefing – 2 November 2020

Published on in Coronavirus

Information on government’s extension of financial support schemes

As England prepares to go into a four-week lockdown, government has detailed the support it is extending to help employers and employees from 4 November.

The furlough scheme – formally known as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – will remain open until December, with employees receiving 80% of their salary, up to a maximum of £2,500. Businesses will have flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part-time basis or furlough them full-time, and will only be asked to cover National Insurance and pension contributions.

The Job Support Scheme, which was scheduled to be introduced on 1 November, has been postponed until the furlough scheme ends.

Businesses forced to close in England (non-essential retail, hospitality, gyms and accommodation and tourism sectors), will receive grants up to £3,000 a month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant. Government has also announced £1.1billion is being given to local authorities, distributed on the basis of £20 per head, for one-off payments to enable councils to offer further support to businesses. The business grants will be as follows:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks;
  • For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks.

Mortgage holidays are also continuing. Borrowers who have not yet had a six month holiday will be entitled to one, and those who have already started a mortgage holiday will be able to top up to six months without this being recorded on their credit file.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “Over the past eight months of this crisis we have helped millions of people to continue to provide for their families. But now – along with many other countries around the world – we face a tough winter ahead.

“I have always said we will do whatever it takes as the situation evolves. Now, as restrictions get tougher, we are taking steps to provide further financial support to protect jobs and businesses. These changes will provide a vital safety net for people across the UK.”

Details of the furlough scheme extension and eligibility can be found here.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 31 October, new national restrictions will be in place from Thursday, 5 November.

Additional updates and guidance

Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan Scheme
Now open for applications until 30 November 2020. Find out more about the Bounce Back Loan Scheme here.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Now open for applications until 30 November 2020. Find out more about the Business Interruption Loan Scheme here.

Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme
Now open for applications until 30 November 2020. Find out more about the Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme here.

Guidance on NHS Test and Trace for employers, business and workers
Guidance has been updated to reflect employers’ legal duties around staff who are self-isolating.


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