Ceramics: Manufacturing Industries

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 15th May 2020.

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Photo of Jonathan Gullis Jonathan Gullis Conservative, Stoke-on-Trent North

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support supply chains in the ceramics industry in (a) the UK and (b) Stoke-on-Trent North constituency.

Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

The Government is working tirelessly to protect our people and businesses, during and after the COVID-19 outbreak, including those in the ceramics industry.

The Government has taken unprecedented action to support businesses, which may be of benefit to the ceramics industry. Measures include:

- £330 billion worth of Government-backed loans through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and the newly launched Bounce Back Loans Scheme.

- VAT deferment for firms for the next quarter.

- The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, where employers are eligible to apply for a Government grant of 80% of their workers’ salaries, up to £2500 per month.

Locally, the Government has supported and invested in 38 Growth Hubs across England. Growth Hubs provide businesses with free advice, and improve awareness and coordination to increase the take-up of the business support schemes that are available.

In the financial year 2018/19, the Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) reached over 5000 business individuals. This included supporting 2231 businesses with face-to-face support, of which 107 received high-intensity support. The LEP has also helped 491 individuals to start a new business.

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