The current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, presents a significant challenge for businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire and indeed worldwide. The University of Warwick Science Park together with other key organisations here are preparing actions to help minimise the impact on businesses by providing support and keeping our environment updated about support available for businesses.
With the assistance of the CW Growth Hub we have put together a summary of current supports and financial schemes available for businesses affected by the Coronavirus outbreak and would encourage you to visit the Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub website for daily updates on this topic.
We would also like to get the message across that our business support activity is open for business, albeit electronically. We urge our existing clients to talk to their business growth adviser about their challenges and any company that is not receiving any external support to come forward and discuss their challenges with us or the Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub. The same applies to our tenants that are not yet receiving business support.
One advice we would give to all businesses is to prepare a detailed cash flow forecast for the next 6 months for your business to identify potential shortfalls and to have clarity on what is required to see you through these difficult times. If you are unsure how to do this, contact us using the links below or talk to your accountant who will be able to advise you accordingly.
To receive comprehensive business support please contact our Business Ready team
For start up support please contact our Ignite team
For equity investment please contact our Minerva team
Key supports available for businesses:
The Government is making available an initial £330 billion of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of our GDP. This will be delivered through two main schemes, which will be up and running by the start of next week:
- To support liquidity amongst larger firms, the chancellor has agreed a new lending facility with the Governor of the Bank of England to provide low cost, easily accessible commercial paper.
- The new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, announced at the Budget last week that offered loans of £1.2 million, will now provide loans of up to £5 million, with no interest due for the first six months. This is a British Business Bank guarantee for businesses and they will publish the list of lenders (retail banks) soon and this should launch w/c 23rd of March.
Retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors will pay no business rates whatsoever for 12 months (no matter what their rateable values are) and if they have a rateable value of less than £51,000, they can now get a cash grant of up to £25,000 as well:
- This applies to every single shop, pub, theatre, music venue, restaurant – and any other business in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector.
- It is still unclear how businesses will access this, so please check the CW Growth Hub website for updates on this.
A £10,000 grant is now available to all businesses in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) and rural rates relief. This funding will only benefit those with a premises. It excludes small businesses and the self-employed who do not occupy property (e.g. freelancers, cleaners, etc.)
- It is still unclear how businesses will access this grant, so please check the CW Growth Hub website for updates on this.
Statutory Sick Pay: For businesses with under 250 employees, the cost of providing statutory sick page for up to 14 days due to coronavirus will be funded by the Government in full – although this is unlikely to include Sole Traders. In terms of the time frame the following statement has been issued, ‘the government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible…existing systems are not designed to facilitate employer refunds for SSP’; although self-employed people can now more easily make a claim for Universal Credit or Contributory Employment and Support Allowance.