Winter support

Colchester Borough Council is providing support for residents, businesses and communities throughout winter.

Financial assistance

On 17 March, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced plans to offer unprecedented support for business and workers to protect against the economic emergency caused by the coronavirus.

Chancellor announces additional support to protect businesses

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme 

The Budget 2020 announced the new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Invest Essex is one of the 40 accredited providers across the UK.  

Further information is expected as details come from the British Business Bank over the coming days. 

Banks pledge billions to help SMEs impacted by coronavirus 

Lloyds Banking Group has announced that it has allocated up to £2 billion to ensure the UK’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have access to additional finance to overcome any impact to cash flow caused by coronavirus. 

It is anticipated that a sustained and wide-scale outbreak in the UK will impact businesses, and in particular, their cash flows, as interruptions to their supply chain or significant employee absence will severely affect their ability to generate sales, resulting in reduced revenues. 

The bank’s Relationship Managers speak to nearly 5,000 small businesses each week and have already reached out to more than 10,000 SMEs to discuss any concerns they already have on the potential impact a sustained COVID-19 outbreak may have on their business. 

NatWest has also outlined the support it will provide to SMEs across the UK, including a £5 billion Working Capital Support extension to its Growth Funding Package, ongoing support and practical advice for businesses. 

Facebook to launch $100m fund for businesses impacted by coronavirus 

Facebook for Business has announced outline details of a new scheme designed to help small businesses under threat of survival owing to the coronavirus pandemic.  

The Facebook Small Business Grants Programme will endeavour to help businesses that are experiencing disruptions in their cash flow as the global COVID-19 outbreak continues. 

Additionally, Facebook's Business Hub, which was previously a resource that was limited to Facebook employees and health experts, will now be available for all businesses to access. The company has also pledged to create new 'virtual training' to support businesses operating during the coronavirus outbreak. 

Facebook is offering US$100 million (approximately £84 million) in cash grants and advertising credits on its ad platform for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses. The funding is intended to help firms in the following ways: 
  • covering operational costs
  • helping with rent costs
  • connecting with more customers
  • maintaining a strong workforce
Small businesses in over 30 countries where Facebook operates may be eligible to apply. At this stage, there are no further details on industry eligibility or confirmation on the countries which will be included. 

Page last reviewed: 20 March 2020


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