Recovery loan scheme extended for 2 years
The Recovery Loan Scheme, which originally launched in April 2021 to help businesses recovering from the pandemic, has been extended to 2024.
The maximum loan size remains at up to £2m, and the principle behind the extended scheme remains unchanged: the government will underwrite 70% of lender liabilities, at the individual borrower level, in return for a lender fee. Lenders must ensure that the benefits of the government guarantee are passed through to businesses.
Full details of the scheme are available on GOV.UK.
More SMEs and microbusinesses now eligible for Help to Grow: Digital
Businesses with 1 to 249 employees can now receive discounts worth up to £5,000 on approved software under an expansion of the Help to Grow: Digital scheme. The scheme was previously only open to those businesses with more than 5 employees.
eCommerce software has also been added to the scheme, helping businesses to sell online and reach new markets. This includes helping them to manage their inventory, take payments and gather data and insights on customers’ needs.
Businesses can now access 30 different solutions from 14 leading suppliers of eCommerce, Digital Accounting and CRM software. Additionally, Help to Grow: Digital will support one-to-one advice for SMEs on how best they can adopt digital technology.
New guidance on employment status for workers and businesses
New guidance published by the government aims to provide businesses and workers – particularly in the gig economy – with greater clarity over employment status and the rights and employment protections people are entitled to at work, including pay, leave and working conditions.
Featuring real world examples of what an individual’s working day or contract may involve – and how that translates into their employment status – the guidance will help smaller businesses that have less capacity and legal expertise to understand the law and reduce the risk of companies being fined for unknowingly breaking the rules. At the same time, workers can see what rights they are entitled to at work and will be able to have informed discussions with their employer and take steps to claim or enforce rights where necessary.