DAILY BUSINESS BRIEFING FROM GOVERNMENT'S COVID-19 PRESS CONFERENCE
(courtesy of White Label)
The government’s furlough scheme will be extended for a further month into June, the Chancellor confirmed ahead of today's Downing Street Press Conference.
The scheme, which allows firms to furlough employees with the government paying cash grants of 80% of their wages up to a maximum of £2,500, was originally open for three months and backdated from the 1 March to the end of May.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said: “It is vital for people’s livelihoods that the UK economy gets up and running again when it is safe to do so, and I will continue to review the scheme so it is supporting our recovery. The government has taken unprecedented action to help the economy and society bridge a period of national emergency so that as many people as possible can get back to work as the situation improves.”
Chancellor expands loan scheme for large businesses
A government-backed loan scheme for large businesses affected by coronavirus has been expanded to cover all viable firms, the Chancellor announced today.
Outlining further details of the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loans Scheme (CLBILS) ahead of its launch on Monday, Rishi Sunak said all firms with a turnover of more than £45m will now be able to apply for up to £25m of finance, and up to £50m for firms with a turnover of more than £250m.
Business with turnovers of more than £500m were originally not eligible for the scheme, which is being set up to help firms who do not qualify for the existing Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme – for small and medium sized businesses - and the Bank of England Covid Corporate Financing Facility – for investment grade companies. The move, which comes after extensive consultation with businesses, will ensure even more firms are able to benefit from government support.
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Businesses to save up to £300m a year while reducing CO
Businesses across the UK are set to save up to £300m a year, as the government launches launched a consultation on the terms of an extension to the Climate Change Agreement scheme (CCA), which it is estimated will also will prevent an estimated 700,000 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted each year.
CCAs work by setting targets for reducing businesses’ energy use in return for discounts on the climate change levy on their energy bills. The consultation will enable new targets to be put in place from January 2021, allowing the extension of the scheme beyond its current March 2023 end date to March 2025.
In addition to extending the CCA for thousands of companies currently in the scheme, the consultation will also allow new businesses to apply to join and gain vital access to savings as of January 2021. Under the current rules, businesses have not been able to join the scheme since October 2018.
By joining the scheme businesses will also be helping the fight against climate change. Since the CCA was introduced in 2013, it is estimated to have helped companies reduce energy use by up to 2.3 terawatt hours a year - enough energy to power 140,000 homes.