CBILs Application Deadline Looms
Applications for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILs) will be accepted up to Wednesday 31st March 2021. Focused on providing financial support to SMEs, the scheme has so far lent in excess of £296bn to businesses who been negatively impacted by the Pandemic either via cash flow interruptions or cash flow issues. As a reminder, to be eligible for a CBILs loan your business must
- Have been trading for a minimum of 3 years
- Be a business based in the UK that has been adversely affected by Coronavirus
- Have a turnover of at least £200,000
- The loan must be for business purposes only and primarily for trading in the UK
- Over 50% of turnover must be from trading activity (i.e. not from investments)
If your business is yet to apply for the scheme it is definitely an avenue worth considering. The Government will pay the interest for the first 12 months of the loan, in addition to paying the upfront fees, with favourable interest rates thereafter. Further information can be found on the British Business Bank website.
Sunak sets out Pandemic recovery plan in March budget
Earlier this month Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled his long awaited budget, outlining his plans on how the UK will recover from the Covid 19 Pandemic. Some significant announcements included the headline rate of corporation tax rising from 19% to 25% (effective from 2023), the furlough scheme being extended to the end of September, a 3 month extension to the business rates holiday to the end of June alongside a 6 month extension to the stamp duty holiday. Hospitality, retail and personal care businesses are also to be offered funding support in the form of a new restart grant in a package worth £5bn.
Effects of Covid 19 Pandemic “not as severe as other recessions” according to Bank of England Governor
Andrew Bailey, the Bank of England’s Governor in chief, has boldly predicted that the economic effect of the Covid 19 Pandemic will not be as severe as previous recessions. Adding that government financial support had been a “necessary and sensible response”, he went on to say “It means that the economic impact of COVID will be spread over time – how long we don’t know because it is too early to predict. But that cost has to be managed, and it will be easier to do that with a higher trend rate of growth, boosted by stronger investment.” In spite of this optimistic outlook, there was a cautious undertone with Bailey stating that a further £150bn of quantitative easing was expected to be completed by around the end of 2021.
SMEs led by females contribute £85bn to economic output
In the month we celebrated International Women’s day, there was some business news to be very proud of. Female led SME’s in the UK contribute £85bn to economic output annually, according to outsourced communications provider Moneypenny. The research revealed 15% of SMEs are headed up by women whilst a further 24% were “equally led” meaning the senior management team had a 50/50 split between men and women. On an international scale, the UK is ranked 24th out of 50 countries that were studied so whilst the numbers are impressive, there is still some way to go yet.
Unemployment figures fall for first time since Pandemic began
Data released by the ONS (Office for National Statistics) has revealed the jobless rate in the UK has dropped for the first time since the Covid 19 Pandemic began. For the period between November 20 and January 21, the rate of unemployment returned to 5%, down from 5.1% in previous months. Obviously we’d all like to see a bigger reduction but it is a step in the right direction. Chancellor Rishi Sunak stated: “Coronavirus has caused one of the largest labour market shocks this country has ever faced, which is why protecting, supporting and creating jobs has been my focus throughout this crisis. We have taken decisive action with a £352bn package of support.”
As always, good luck with everything, stay safe and if we can help in any way we’re happy to do so.
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*Sources: City AM, Gov.uk, NACFB.