Yesterday, this Chamber called on the UK Government for immediate wage support to help ease the strain on business across the UK as they come to terms with the sudden and unprecedented impact of COVID-19. The next weeks and months will be challenging for our members specifically now knowing that restaurants, cafes, pubs, gyms and cinemas have been instructed by Government to close their doors.

Our priority has been to ensure our business community has the necessary support to come out the other side of this and we have been working closely with our colleagues across the Chamber network and have been in regular dialogue with government. We are therefore pleased to hear this evening that the Chancellor has listened to our requests on behalf of members and, as a result, has announced the following measures in addition to those already secured:

Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme

  • Government grants will cover 80% of the salary for retained workers
  • This will be up to a total £2,500 per month
  • The scheme will be open before the end of April, will run for at least three months, and will cover cost of wages backdated to March 1
  • There's no limit on the funding available
  • Any employer in the country – small or large, charitable or non-profit - will be eligible for the scheme

These are the headlines and our team will be pouring over the details in the coming hours. What’s important now is that these funds can be easily and quickly accessed and that’s where our focus will be going forward.

Unprecedented measures for unprecedented times delivered through the power of the Chamber network.

Russell Borthwick

Chief executive

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