Key policy updates – London Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Key policy updates from the last week – London Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Business support

CBILS has been extended

  • More businesses are now set to benefit from the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) as the Government has made changes to state aid rules, according to a Government news story. This means that more small businesses can benefit from loans up to the size of £5m.
  • Prior to this announcement, businesses which were classed as “undertakings in difficulty” were unable to access CBILS because of EU rules, however this has now changed.
  • The UK Government, alongside industry groups, lobbied to relax the restrictive rules in the European Temporary State Aid Framework to ensure more businesses can access much needed funding.
  • • The full correspondence between representatives of the UK, EU and industry groups can be found online here.

BEIS funding for small business training

  • • BEIS has committed £20 million to improve small business’ management, productivity and problem-solving skills through 2 training programmes.
  • • The Small Business Leadership Programme will focus on strengthening decision makers’ leadership skills, so they are able to address management challenges
  • • The Peers Network Programme will focus on helping business owners improve their problem-solving skills, such as finding new customers and using technology to adapt a business model.

£20 million in new grants to boost recovery of small businesses

  • Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government announces £20 million new funding to help businesses across England get back on track.
  • Small and medium sized businesses in England can access grants between £1,000 – £5,000 for new equipment and technology and specialist advice
  • Minister confirms new support while visiting businesses and local leaders across Cornwall

Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government – £1.3 billion investment to deliver homes, infrastructure and jobs

  • • Over 300 shovel-ready projects in England to share £900 million investment to build homes and infrastructure, and create jobs o Officials have said that the move will help to build up to 45,000 homes, create up to 85,000 jobs and cut CO2 emissions by roughly 65m kg.
  • o £22.1m was allocated to London through the London Economic Action Partnership
  • • £360 million investment confirmed to deliver 26,000 new homes on brownfield land
  • • Strict accreditation rules for tradespeople involved in the £2 billion Green Homes Grant scheme to ensure homes are of the highest quality

Support line for apprentices

    • A new online and telephone support service for apprentices who have lost their jobs during the COVID-19 outbreak has been launched today by the Government. o The new Redundancy Support Service for Apprentices (RASSA) will ensure apprentices can access local and national services that provide financial, legal, health and wellbeing support, and help them to find a new job should they need it.
    • From today, employers large and small are also being encouraged to take advantage of generous new cash incentives designed to create more high quality apprenticeship opportunities so more people, particularly young people, can kick-start an exciting and rewarding career.
    • Employers are being offered £2,000 for each new apprentice aged under 25 they hire, and £1,500 for each new apprentice they hire aged 25 and over, up to the 31st January 2021. This includes taking on an apprentice who has been made redundant.

More information on Job Retention Bonus was announced

  • It states that now employers can claim the bonus for all eligible employees who had been previously furloughed, which equates to £1,000 for every previously furloughed staff member if they are employed until January 2021.
  • As the scheme is designed to protect jobs, those who are serving notice for redundancy will not be eligible for the bonus.

The Mayor of London has pledged a £1m fund to help small businesses and community groups

  • The aim of the fund is to make sure that the community groups and SME’s are well prepared for future emergencies.
  • Businesses, social enterprises and community groups will be matched with innovators who will help them find new ways of delivering their products and services in these new circumstances.
  • Grants of up to £50,000 will be available to support designing and testing these innovations.

New law to help those made redundant after furlough

  • A new law to ensure furloughed employees receive full redundancy payments, and thus on their full ‘normal’ pay rather than a lower rate due to them having been furloughed. o This will ensure that those who were first furloughed under the CJRS and have subsequently been made redundant will not lose out on money for the duration of them not working.
  • o The changes will also apply to statutory notice pay and other entitlements, providing some reassurance during this difficult time, according to the recent announcement.

New TfL app to help Londoners plan ahead

  • • The new iPhone app provides real-time train times in a mobile-friendly way and information to enable travel at quieter times outside peak hours to help customers maintain social distancing.
  • • The app also offers alternative routes and walking and cycling options. These features will develop further based on customer feedback.
  • • An Android version will be released later this year.

Policy updates – note that the House of Commons is in recess from 22nd July to 1st September

New Government consultation on traffic management for Kent

  • • The Government has launched a consultation about legislation it proposes to renew and update to ensure that traffic management plans can be effectively enforced, and incentivise hauliers to ensure they are ‘border-ready’ before setting off for Kent.

Homeowners offered up to £10,000 for energy efficiency changes

  • • Under the new “green homes grants” scheme, more than 600,000 people in England will be eligible to apply for vouchers to install insulation, heat pumps, and solar panel systems.
  • • Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the scheme is a “vital part of our plans for jobs”, to enable the UK to have a “green recovery” from the effects of the coronavirus on the economy.