Weekly Digest: coronavirus information and advice from HSE – 30 April 2020

In this issue:

  • Look after your mental wellbeing while working at home.
  • HSE advises on the importance of fitting respirators correctly.
  • Control of Major Accident Hazards guidance.

Read more: HSE weekly digest 30 April 2020

Environment Agency regulatory response to coronavirus

Our approach to regulation and enforcement during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Environment Agency recognises the challenges you face in these exceptional circumstances. This document sets out our:

  • priorities
  • expectations
  • approach to enforcement during the coronavirus outbreak
  • information on COVID-19 regulatory position statements

Read more: EA response to coronavirus

The importance of the aluminium industry and the Government’s Covid-19 business support packages – reply from NADHIM ZAHAWI MP

“…Thank you for your letters to the Secretary of State and to the Chancellor of 15 April, and your letters of 2 April to the Prime Minister outlining the importance of the aluminium industry and the Government’s Covid-19 business support packages.

I recognise that this is a challenging time for those working in manufacturing industries and I am grateful for the work of the Aluminium Federation in supporting its members during this unprecedented period. As the Secretary of State said in his letter to manufacturing sectors on 8 April, Government is very mindful of the importance of the aluminium industry’s contribution to essential supply chains and the resilience of our nation, which is why we have not restricted manufacturing under the current rules.

I appreciate the open and frank exchange of information and views you are providing at this critical time. This is helping Government fine-tune its business support programmes and strike the necessary balance between providing the support that business requires, whilst protecting taxpayers’ money.

You may have seen that in response to industry feedback, including from ALFED and your members, on 16 April the Government announced revised rules for companies accessing the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS).

I know that you are speaking regularly with my officials and that we will shortly speak regarding the issues which are of most concern to your members at this time. We remain keen to continue to engage with you over the coming weeks and months to ensure that the aluminium industry is in the best possible position to respond to the challenges presented by Covid-19…”

NADHIM ZAHAWI MP

Minister for Business and Industry

Read more: Reply-from-Nadhim-Zahawi-MP-to-Tom-Jones-27-April-2020

Read more: Funding support for UK aluminium – Letter to Business Secretary 15042020

Small businesses boosted by bounce back loans

New 100% government backed loan scheme for small business

  • businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days
  • loans will be interest free for the first 12 months, and businesses can apply online through a short and simple form

Small businesses will benefit from a new fast-track finance scheme providing loans with a 100% government-backed guarantee for lenders, the Chancellor announced today (Monday 27 April).

Rishi Sunak said the new Bounce Back Loans scheme, which will provide loans of up to £50,000, would help bolster the existing package of support available to the smallest businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more: Small businesses boosted by bounce back loans

Coronavirus Businesses and Employers Bulletin – Special Announcement – New Bounce Back Loan Scheme

This bulletin is issued by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and provides the latest information for employers and businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19). All coronavirus business support information can be found at gov.uk/business-support.

The new Bounce Back Loans scheme, announced by the Chancellor today, will allow businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days. Loans will be interest free for the first 12 months, and from Monday 4 May, businesses can apply online through a short and simple form.

The Government, which has been consulting extensively with business representatives about the design of the new scheme, will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee for the loan and pay any fees and interest for the first 12 months. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months.

The loans will be easy to apply for through a short, standardised online application. Loans should reach businesses within days – providing immediate support to those that need it as easily as possible.

The scheme will launch for applications on Monday 4 May. Firms will be able to access these loans through a network of accredited lenders. The government will work with lenders to ensure loans delivered through this scheme are advanced as quickly as possible and agree a low standardised level of interest for the remaining period of the loan.

The new scheme will run alongside the existing Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS).

The Government is also taking additional steps on the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to ensure that lenders have the confidence they need to process finance applications quickly, including removing the per lender portfolio cap for the government guarantee, and changing the viability tests that so that all banks will need to assess is whether a business was viable pre COVID-19.

Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)

The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) opened on Monday 20 April 2020 to facilitate access to finance for medium-sized and larger businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Read more: CLBILS

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Businesses and Employers Bulletin – 22 April 2020

This bulletin is issued by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and provides the latest information for employers and businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19). All coronavirus business support information can be found at gov.uk/business-support

Contents:

  • Reminder – Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • Coronavirus Business Support Blog
  • New Updates and Guidance
  • Requests for Business Intelligence and Assistance

Read more: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Businesses and Employers Bulletin – 22 April 2020

 

Brexit Update

Our work with government continues to ensure the aluminium sector and our members are engaged with BEIS and the Brexit trade negotiations. We recently submitted a position paper to our contacts at the UK Government: ALFED UK/EU Trade Negotiations Position Paper.

The Brexit negotiations are still taking place during the coronavirus outbreak. David Frost and Michel Barnier met via videoconference last week, where they agreed new dates for the next few negotiating rounds, all of which will take place via video conference.

The new agreed dates are as follows, with all rounds lasting a full week:

  • w/c 20 April
  • w/c 11 May
  • w/c 1 June

Agendas for these rounds will also be published online in due course.

We will keep ALFED members updated on the progress with Brexit.