Self isolation extended to 10 days

Some updates regarding self-isolation and funding for you this morning.

Self-Isolation period extended

Evidence, although still limited, has strengthened and shows that people with COVID-19 who are mildly ill and are recovering have a low but real possibility of infectiousness between 7 and 9 days after illness onset.  The Government have therefore now determined that it is the correct balance of risk to extend the self-isolation period from 7 to 10 days for those in the community who have symptoms or a positive test result.  The full statement is available here:

£20m grant funding for SMEs

It’s been announced today that thousands of smaller businesses in England are to benefit from £20 million of new government funding to help them recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.  Small and medium sized businesses in all sectors will have access to grants of between £1,000 – £5,000 to help them access new technology and other equipment as well as professional, legal, financial or other advice to help them recover.

The support will be fully funded by the government from the England European Regional Development Fund and distributed through Growth Hubs.  Activities supported through the £20 million of funding must be to directly respond to the impact of COVID-19 and can include: 

• One-to-many events providing guidance to respond to coronavirus 

• Small grants (£1,000 – £5,000) to: 

o Help visitor economy businesses access specialist professional advice e.g. human resources, accountants, legal, financial, IT / digital 

o Purchase minor equipment to adapt or adopt new technology in order to continue to deliver business activity or diversify 

The funding is being provided to address immediate needs and all grants must be awarded by 28 February 2021 and all activity fully completed by 31 March 2021. 

The Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership is to receive an allocation of £1.1m and it looks like it will be administered and distributed by Boost Business Lancashire.

The announcement is available here:

Businesses in debt now able to apply for CBILS

Retailers and other businesses that were unable to apply for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) because they were too deep in debt will now be able to tap into the Treasury’s coronavirus scheme, ministers have said today.  Some retailers and businesses that were denied support on this basis will now be able to borrow up to £5 million from their bank.  The businesses were classed as “undertakings in difficulty” last year – most often meaning that they had high levels of debt and accumulated losses. Companies are eligible if they have fewer than 50 employees and turn over below £9 million a year.

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