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WINTER ECONOMIC PLAN

As promised, here are a couple of updates on the announcements made by the Chancellor in his Winter Economic Plan speech last week.

The most important is the news that the Business Bounce-back Loan Scheme (BBLS), Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and Future Fund initiatives have all been extended to the end of November for new applications - they were due to finish on 30th September.  A feature of these scheme is that they have been used increasingly now only to keep firms going, but as an insurance fund and also an encouragement for investment, due to the zero interest rate for the first 12 months - that is especially true of CBILS.

Mr Sunak also announced extended repayment terms with BBLS loans now repayable over up to ten years, with greater flexibility - called ‘Pay as you Grow’;  the government also intends to extend repayment of CBILS to up to ten years.

Also, a reminder that firms which deferred their VAT payments due for March-June will be able to spread the payment of this over the financial year 2021-2022.

Finally, we are still waiting for the Government to publish details of the new Job Support Scheme (JSS) that is replacing the Job Retention Scheme (or furlough scheme).  There is, at the time of writing, only the policy paper that was published last week on the web-site at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/job-support-scheme but it may be worth checking this from time to time to see if anything new has been posted.