BCC Coronavirus Tracker Survey highlights business cash fears as more financial support is announced

Monday, 24 August 2020

The last week has seen a number of new financial support packages announced to help businesses and individuals affected by Covid-19    Small businesses in Fife’s main town centres can now get a £100 grant towards the cost of initiating public health and safety measures required to reopen safely and cope with Covid-19.  The grants will reimburse costs incurred for measures such as PPE, sanitiser dispensing units and internal signage.  The premises must be accessed by the public to be eligible.  Click here for more information.

Young people between the age of 16 and 24 entering the workplace are also in line for support now with the introduction of a £250 or £400 Job Start Payment to meet some of the costs of starting a new job.   Click here to learn more.

A potentially significant development came with the announcement by the Scottish Government that it will provide £1m to businesses in Aberdeen that have been impacted by the local lockdown that has been in force there for the last three weeks.   Grants of £1000 or £1500 will be available to businesses who have been required to close, but there is also money avaiable to firms that have not had to close but have still been affected by a loss of business caused by the lockdown.   

While Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce and others have said that the size of the grants does not go far enough to cover the full losses incurred by the businesses that were ordered to close, it nonetheless remains a very important development as there is a widespread belief that there will be more  local lockdowns across the country over the coming months.  This is the first local lockdown support scheme that has come into force anywhere in the UK and it follows intensive lobbying the SCC and BCC, who have both have argued strongly that businesses who are affected by local restrictions must get extra financial assistance.   Click here for more information on the Aberdeen provisions. 

While all of these new measures will be warmly welcomed by their recipients the need for them was starkly highlighted in the latest British Chambers of Commerce Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker, which shows that more than 1 in 3 businesses says it has three months or less of cash in reserve.   While highlighting some of the more positive trends picked up by the latest Tracker, the BCC continues to call for significant new measures  to help business when the current support schemes, especially Furlough, stop.  Read more here.