Coronavirus News

COVID-19 stimulus package unveiled O

n July 8, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak unveiled a stimulus package of up to £30bn to help the UK recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Key points from the mini summer budget: ● The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will not be extended beyond October. Instead, employers will be paid £1,000 for every member of staff still on their books at the end of January 2021. ● A scheme for firms to be given £2,000 for each new apprentice under 25 they hire and a new bonus of £1,500 for apprentices over that age. ● Stamp duty will be abolished for properties worth under £500,000 until March 31, 2021. ● VAT will be cut from 20% to just 5% to help the hospitality industry until January 12, 2021. It will apply to food from restaurants, cafes and pubs and also accommodation in hotels, B&Bs, campsites, and caravan sites. The VAT cut also includes attractions such as cinemas, theme parks and zoos. ● Under the new Eat Out to Help Out scheme, diners will be given a half price voucher worth up to £10 to eat out


K businesses recovering from the impact of COVID-19 may be eligible for a new business

package from ADAPT in conjunction with First Business Finance.

Called the Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme (CBILS), the back-to- business offer is a Supported Capital Asset Finance (SCAF) package that provides loans of between £30,000 and £1 million to UK businesses meeting specific criteria. It is intended to assist SMEs who would likely fall outside of asset finance funders’ normal remit.


s the country prepares for the next phase of businesses reopening, the Independent Print Industry

Association (IPIA) claims its members are one of the best placed to not only produce protective equipment like face visors, masks and sneeze screens but also develop further products and services to reduce spread of the COVID-19 virus. Marian Stefani, CEO of the IPIA, said: “Since lockdown began in March, our industry has responded and evolved amazingly.

"Many have proved real heroes in supplying floor graphics and posters for essential businesses, while others have been working on bringing to market innovations like anti-bacterial print finishes and UV sanitisation.”

She added members like Bluetree Group responded to the | 12 | August 2020

throughout the month of August to help the hospitality trade recover. ● Mr Sunak also announced a £3bn package of green investment to help create thousands of jobs and to make public sector buildings greener. Homeowners will receive vouchers of up to £5,000 – and £10,000 for poorer households – to pay for green property upgrades. The Treasury said the measure is expected to support more than 100,000 green jobs. He also pledged up to £40m for a new Green Jobs Challenge Fund to create 5,000 jobs within environmental charities and public authorities. More than £100m of new funding has been set aside for carbon dioxide-reducing technology, with an extra £10m set aside for new electric car development projects.

Mr Sunak said: “Our message to business is clear: if you stand by your workers, we will stand by you. “Our plan has a clear goal: to protect, support and create jobs. It will give businesses the confidence to retain and hire. “To create jobs in every part of our country. To give young people a better start. To give people everywhere the opportunity of a fresh start.”

The qualifying criteria include an annual turnover of no more than £45 million and self-certification that the business has been adversely impacted by the COVID- 19 pandemic.

CBILS provides ADAPT’s lenders with a government-backed guarantee, potentially enabling them to provide asset finance facilities to SMEs to support investment in new and used assets.

The loans are available for terms of between 12 and 60 months with no interest or fees for 12 months (capital


The latest lockdown changes in England

● On July 25 indoor gyms, pools and other sports facilities reopened.

● On August 1 the government will update its advice on going to work, asking employers to make decisions about how and where their staff can work safely.

● From the same date, most remaining leisure settings, including bowling, skating rinks, casinos and all close contact services such as beauticians, will reopen.

● Live indoor theatre and concerts will be able to resume with socially distanced audiences.

● From September, schools, nurseries and colleges will be open for all children and young people on a full-time basis, while universities are also working to reopen as fully as possible.

● From October, the government intends to allow audiences to return to stadiums, while conferences and other business events can recommence.

ADAPT finance to help businesses recover from COVID-19

repayments only). Agreement types considered are hire purchase, finance lease, sale and HP/lease back. There are no personal guarantees up to £250,000. Adam Booth, sales director at ADAPT, said: “Each lender really decides upon their own underwriting criteria but the latest CBILS updates have simplified the application process and widened the eligibility criteria.

“Now significant numbers of limited company SMEs can apply, getting them back to work after the effects of the pandemic.”

IPIA says printers should be businesses’ first line of defence for PPE

World Health Organisations’s (WHO) call for more PPE by converting its 45,000sq ft operation into a surgical mask factory. Its early production estimates are 1.4 million a week rising to 20 million capacity by autumn.

Over half (52.53%) of industry experts reckon reshoring like this will grow. There’s a realisation that supply chains are stretched too thin and in times of crisis they’re unable to fulfil even the basics so there’s growing interest in small onshore facilities to meet spikes in demand.

Ms Stefani concluded: "The print sector is a significant contributor to GDP and has proven − especially during this crisis − that everything’s possible.

"As one packaging company said: 'If you can make doughnut boxes, you can make face shields'.”

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