Richard Holden welcomes more good news for jobs & local businesses in North West Durham

Richard Holden, MP for North West Durham, has welcomed new government updates on schemes that are available for businesses and individuals to support them during the current health crisis. 

On May 12th, it was announced by the Chancellor that the furlough scheme is being extended until the end of October. This will enable furloughed workers to continue to receive 80% of their salary, at a rate of up to £2500 a month. New rules have also been announced to allow furloughed workers to return to work part-time from the beginning of August. Employers will employers will then pay a percentage of the salaries of furloughed staff whilst the government pays the rest, which will allow businesses and individuals to access the support they need to allow people back to work in a safe and measured way.

The online Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) has also been launched today. This enables self-employed people or members of a partnership who have been affected by coronavirus to claim a taxable grant of 80% of the average monthly trading profits (capped at £2500 per month). You can continue to work if you receive the grant and it does not need to be paid back. For full details about the scheme, including eligibility for making a claim and how the scheme works, you can visit this link. The new system does not stop people claiming for universal credit while they wait for the grant to come through, and does not prevent people from accessing other financial support schemes, which you can read about here, here and here

Bounce Back Loans are also available – read about this here. Bounce Back Loans are in place for smaller companies to quickly access finance – small and medium-sized businesses can borrow between £2000 and up to 25% of their annual turnover, with a maximum sum of £50,000 being available. 100% of the loan is guaranteed by the government and there are zero fees and no interest to pay for the first twelve months. For information about eligibility and how to apply, you can visit this link. So far, 268,000 businesses have benefitted from Bounce Back Loans worth a total of £8.3 billion.

Angela Sterling runs Lingotot in Consett and hers is one of the many local businesses that has really benefitted from the Government's schemes. You can watch Lingotot talking about it here and you can read about Richard's visit to Lingotot here.

Commenting, Richard said ‘I am delighted that the furlough scheme has been extended – not only will it give employers and employees much-needed security during this time, but the new regulations will enable people to think about how they start to go back to work safely, whilst still receiving all the support they need. The SEISS will be an enormous help to self-employed people and is just one of many financial support schemes that has been set up to help those who need it. I’ve worked closely with Durham County Council on the Bounce Back Loans scheme – thousands of businesses across the constituency have received loans and the BBL scheme will be a huge help for our high streets – businesses like hairdressers, coffee shops and florists are all able to access loans and the funding they receive will enable them to stay afloat and reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. If there is anything at all I can do to help – whether you need advice, have a concern or are unsure about the schemes – please get in touch and I will do everything I can to help.’

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