Business Intelligence update – changes to loan schemes and sector challenges
As a LEP, we continue to work with many regional partners to share intelligence about the latest impact of COVID-19 on the business community, to identify ongoing emerging needs and to inform BEIS and influence government policy. This intelligence will inform planning as we work towards recovery post this crisis. Last Friday, this action group convened virtually. Below is a summary of this meeting.
Changes to Government loan schemes welcomed
Last week, the Chancellor launched new changes to the government-backed loan schemes to increase the number of small and large businesses eligible for this support. Details of the Extended Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and New Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) can be found here:
Struggling business sectors
After several weeks of lockdown and with Easter holidays looming, businesses are feeling the strain. There has been an increasing trend over the last 7 days of affected businesses looking to long term survival. Furloughing of staff has been a key strategy to achieve this, with many not wanting to take on the risks of loans and thus, the removal of payroll costs is being used to alleviate pressure on cash flow.
Many tourism businesses are in grave financial danger across our region. Hotels and Bed & Breakfasts have been the most badly hit as they often fall through the cracks in terms of support. One common issue is that many of these type businesses were encouraged to switch from business rates to council tax which has resulted in them being ineligible for relief. Other visitor economy businesses and those who supply to this sector are struggling due to timings. They are just coming out of the lean winter period and are reliant on Easter providing a good start to the season which will not be realised this year. Many won’t survive unless further support is introduced. Given the importance of this sector in our region, we urgently need to identify support for them.
Our primary channel for business support is our Growth Hub, which houses all information as soon as it comes available. This includes links to key sources of support, including links to government and council schemes.
Connecting employers to job hunters
We have positioned our Growth Hub Facebook page, as a site by which employers who have a need to increase their workforce can be connected to people whose employment has been impacted.
We encourage you to visit this page and post any links to job offers in York and North Yorkshire onto this page. We are working hard to connect community groups and jobs pages to this resource.