FSB Friday newsletter: July 10

News 10 Jul 2020

COVID-19: Summer statement
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a raft of measures in his Summer Update on Wednesday, telling MPs that he will "never accept unemployment as an unavoidable outcome".

FSB External Affairs Chief Craig Beaumont told LBC's Shelagh Fogarty that "we wanted a jobs first, young people first statement and he delivered on that element."

In The Times, FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry says funding for apprenticeships must be easily accessible for employers because "young people are looking for work now."

Below is an outline of what this means for you and your business. Further resources are available on the Government's websites.

The Chancellor unveiled a new Coronavirus Job Retention Bonus, which will give any employer who brings back a furloughed member of staff and keeps them in continuous work until January 2021 a £1,000 bonus.

Kickstart Scheme
This fund will subsidise six-month work placements for people on Universal Credit aged between 16 and 24 who are at risk of long-term unemployment. It will cover 100 per cent of the minimum wage for a maximum of 25 hours a week, with firms able to top up wages and hours. Employers will be given £1,000 for each new trainee they take on, while those creating apprenticeships in England will be paid £2,000 for each young person under the age of 25 taken on. For those above 25, grants will be £1,500.

FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry told the BBC that the government must ensure smaller firms benefit from the scheme, adding: "Small businesses must not be waiting in line."

Job Centres
The Government is also doubling the number of Work Coaches in Job Centres, extending the Rapid Response Service and expanding the Work and Health Programme. This includes an extra £1bn being plugged into the Department for Work and Pensions to support millions of people trying to get back into work.

Green jobs
A £2bn Green Homes Grant will allow homeowners and landlords to apply for vouchers to make their homes more energy efficient, creating local jobs in the process. This will be a lifeline to builders and other tradespeople left out of work during the pandemic. The grants will cover at least two thirds of improvement costs, up to £5,000 per household. Low income households will receive vouchers covering the full cost, up to £10,000. We are calling for this scheme to be extended to small business premises.

Hospitality and tourism
VAT on sales in food, accommodation and attraction businesses will be cut to five per cent for the next six months.

Meanwhile, the Eat Out to Help Out scheme - providing diners with a discount on meals on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesday - will go live from 1 August. Businesses will need to register using a simple website and the money will hit their bank accounts within five working days following transactions.

COVID-19: Reopening the economy

Pools, beauty salons and gyms have been given the green light to reopen this month.

Outdoor pools and outdoor performances will be allowed to reopen from 11 July, with beauty salons, tattoo studios and tanning salons following from 13 July. Indoor gyms and pools can reopen from 25 July.

Meanwhile, social distancing rules were relaxed last Saturday (4 July) when pubs, hairdressers and hotels were allowed to reopen.

People should still stay two metres apart, but where that distance is not possible, a one metre-plus rule should be followed.

However, parts of Leicestershire are still in a local lockdown after a peak in Covid-19 cases. The Government has issued guidance on what this means and who is affected.

The Scottish government has set out a roadmap for businesses to reopen as they enter the next phase of recovery. All dates are indicative and subject to following physical distancing rules and public health advice.

Non-essential shops inside shopping centres will open from 13 July, with indoor hospitality, hairdressers, barbers, museums, galleries, cinemas and libraries to follow on 15 July. Also opening on 15 July are holiday accommodation and childcare providers. 

Beauticians, nail salons, tailors and bridal shops will reopen from 22 July. Non-essential call centres, live indoor and outdoor events, gyms, pools and indoor entertainment venues such as theatres won't reopen until at least 31 July, but this date is under review.

Self-catering accommodation opened 3 July, while outdoor hospitality opened on 6 July.

Self-contained holiday accommodation, including holiday cottages, caravans, motorhomes, boats, glamping sites with their own kitchens and bathrooms can reopen from 11 July. However, those with shared facilities must remain closed. 

Pubs, bars and restaurants with outside seating only can reopen from 13 July.

Indoor facilities, including gyms, swimming pools and theatres have not yet been given a date as to when they can reopen.

The Welsh Government has created a checklist to help these businesses work within the public health regulations and guidelines.

Northern Ireland
Indoor gyms and outdoor leisure facilities have opened today (10 July.) Cinemas, theatres, nightclubs, bingo halls, concert halls and arcades will reopen on 29 July, while 7 August will see indoor sports courts, skating rinks, leisure centres and soft play areas reopen.

Beauty and hair salons, including tanning services and those offering electrolysis, tanning and acupuncture services reopened on 6 July - as did spas, tattoo and piercing parlours.


Businesses on child online safety
The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has launched an online survey to design a new child online safety -one-stop shop' for businesses. This will help businesses design their services and websites in a way that keeps children safe from online harms.

Are businesses ready for Brexit?
The Institute for Governance is holding a webinar alongside FSB Policy Director Sonali Parekh to look at whether the business world is ready for Brexit and how the Government can help firms prepare. It will be held on Monday, 13 July at 10.30am and registration is essential.

NHS Track and Trace: Workplace Guidance
The Government has issued guidance on how employers and businesses can play their part in the NHS test and trace programme to slow the spread of the virus, protect the health and care system and save lives.

Before Chancellor Rishi Sunak made his Summer Statement on 8 July, we liaised heavily with the treasury and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

We also lobbied MPs during the Estimates Day debate on the Government's HMRC Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and support for the self-employed through the Self Employed Income Support Scheme, helping ensure the case of company director dividends was reiterated in Parliament.

Meanwhile, we also assisted with FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry's contributions to the International Trade Select Committee, promoting the concerns of British small businesses within the context of the UK's new likely trade deals.


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