COVID-19 SUPPORT: Daily Update – Tuesday 14 April 2020

COVID-19 SUPPORT: Daily Update – Tuesday 14 April 2020

Key Contact: Christian Farrow

Author: Elena Visser

UK Government to provide an extra £350 million to tackle coronavirus in Wales

Rishi Sunak has announced that a further £350 million will be made available, on top of the £250 million that has already been allocated to Wales from the £5 billion fund. This is on top of funding to help support individuals and businesses.

The additional cash will mean that Wales will receive a total cash boost of almost £2 billion from the UK government to help meet the challenges posed by coronavirus.

Criteria for support under the Welsh Economic Resilience Fund has been revealed

The first phase of the scheme which included a £100 million Development Bank of Wales loan launched on 30 March has been fully subscribed after more than 1,500 applications were received in one week. The scheme is part of the £500 million Economic Resilience Fund designed to support businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The second phase includes £200 million of funding to be targeted at microbusinesses, SMEs and large businesses of critical social or economic importance to Wales. To be eligible for the second page of funding, there are several qualifications that need to be met.

For micro-businesses employing up to nine employees, £10,000 support may be given. Businesses in this category may qualify for support if they:

  • have experienced in excess of a 40% reduction in turnover since 1st March 2020;
  • can demonstrate that efforts have been made to sustain business activity;
  • are not pursuing other forms of Welsh government non-repayable grant funding support and
  • are not entitled to business rate relief grants.

For small and medium firms with between 10 and 249 employees with between 10 and 249 employees, they could be eligible for grants of up to £100,000 if they:

  • have experienced in excess of a 60% reduction in turnover since 1 March;
  • are not eligible for business rate relief grants, of if they are, that amount would be deducted from their allocation from this fund;
  • have a sustainable business plan to trade beyond the Covid-19 pandemic;
  • confirm no future compulsory redundancies will be made as long as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is in place; and
  • are not pursuing any other forms of Welsh government non-repayable grant funding support.

Full details of the eligibility criteria can be found here.

Notice to Exporters 2020/10: processing licence applications during coronavirus

The Department for International Trade has revised arrangements for processing licence applications during the Covid-19 outbreak. In the new guidance note, the difficulties in supplying “wet signatures” on end user undertakings and similar documents, as well as obtaining supporting documentation to respond to requests for further information (RFIs) have been highlighted.

The updated guidance states that the following arrangements will stay in place until further notice:

  • the response time for RFIs has been increased from 20 to 40 working days;
  • it is not required for exporters to obtain original copies of end user and stockist undertakings – digital / electronic signatures on supporting documentation (including pdf versions of end user undertakings and stockist undertakings) will be accepted;
  • for exporting firearms and ammunition to EU member states, the EC3 and EC4 forms on the government website have been amended into an “unlocked” word document to enable the details in box 9 and 10 to be added electronically – the completed signed / stamped EC3 will be emailed across but no hard copy will be sent in the post;
  • EC3 and EC4 forms should be uploaded as word documents into SPIRE (the Export Control Organisation’s online export licensing system) not pdfs; and
  • for dual use goods located in another EU member state, and which licensing authorities need to be consulted about, the government will no longer be issuing a hard copy of the licence for presentation to EU member state’s customs. A copy of the licence will need to be printed from SPIRE (with the green tick) for presentation. 

In addition to the above, the following types of electronic signatures will be accepted:

  • simple electronic signatures – these include scanned signatures and tick box, plus declarations;
  • advanced electronic signatures – these are uniquely linked to the signatory, are capable of identifying the signatory, and are linked to data within the signature that can detect any changes made; and
  • qualified electronic signatures – an advanced electronic signature created by a qualified electronic signature creation device, based on a qualified certificate for electronic signatures.

Further information of the new requirements and the updated guidance can be found here.

Barclays launches £100 million Community Aid Package

Barclays has announced the establishment of the Barclays Foundation, to provide a community aid package of £100 million to charities working to support vulnerable people impacted by the virus.

The package includes two components. First, a corporate contribution of £50 million will be donated to and deployed via a number of charities working to support vulnerable people and disadvantaged people (those suffering from social and economic deprivation as a consequence of covid-19), the elderly and vulnerable communities most at risk from the virus, and to support NHS staff and other keyworker communities.

Second, a £50 million commitment by Barclays has been made to match personal donations made by its own employees to charities of their choice, and local to them, and which are working to support communities impacted by the virus. A colleague may select a charity of his or her choice fort their donation and matching programme, provided the charity is officially registered and is engaged in supporting communities impacted by the virus.

Further details of the package can be found here.

Please see our daily updated Financial Support Guide for Businesses for further information-  COVID-19 FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES

For more information on any of the points raised, please contact our corporate team.

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