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The UK government announced in March 2020 an initial package of support to protect businesses and workers against the economic emergency caused by the Coronavirus outbreak. This included around £300bn in the form of guarantees and loans aimed at eligible businesses from all business sectors (including the distribution and storage sectors) across the UK.
The financial support includes the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes (the CBILS, Bounce Back Loan scheme), the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and funds allocated by Local Authorities – the Small Business Grant Fund and the additional Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund.
Eligible businesses from all sectors can apply for support under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which is helping businesses avoid having to lay staff off during the worst of the outbreak. By midnight 14 June, 9.1m jobs had been furloughed, with 1.1m employers furloughing. In total, £20.8bn has been claimed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme up to this point. This system will last until end of October 2020, with government contributions gradually decreasing.
Government continues to engage with businesses and their representative organisations to monitor the operation and success of the business support schemes.