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Latest updates on COVID-19 – July 2020

Lockdown is being eased and the government is implementing major plans to rebuild the economy, it is a crucial time for all businesses

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced a “mini-budget” with a plan to rebuild the economy, with a focus on the hospitality industry. Here are the key points from his announcement:

  • A VAT cut on food, non-alcoholic drinks, accommodation and attractions as well as further VAT cuts for the hospitality and tourism industries
  • “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme – during the month of August, diners at participating restaurants will be given 50% of their bill (dining in and non-alcoholic drinks) Monday-Wednesday (Up to £10 per head). Businesses can claim their money back from the government, registration for this scheme closes on the 31st of August
  • A stamp duty tax break allowing property buyers to be exempt from paying tax on the first £500,000 of any property
  • The government will pay businesses a £1,000 job retention bonus for each furloughed worker that joins back and is employed January 2021 – personnel must be continually employed and earn an average of £520 per month in November-January
  • A kick-start scheme has been created for government-subsidised jobs for young people. Employers will be able to offer a six-month placement for people aged between 16-24 with the Treasury covering 100pc of the National Minimum Wage for each young employee for up to 25 hours a week. Firms can top up pay.
  • The Government will commence investment to triple the number of traineeships with businesses being offered £1,000 per trainee, this is capped at 10 jobs per firm.
  • For the next six months, the Government will pay businesses up to £2,000 for every new apprentice under 25, additionally paying £1,500 for every apprentice above 25 hired.
  • A Green investment plan was also announced aiming to create jobs, make public sector buildings eco-friendly, and encouraging “green” upgrades for homeowners

Leicester has been the first city to be placed in a local lockdown, whilst the rest of the country continues to open. At the time of writing this, no further financial support for Leicester businesses has been proposed, this page will be updated when any announcements are made