The Coronavirus is the biggest threat the entire global community has experienced in decades. It is currently having a devastating effect on many communities, businesses and CMLs across the UK and we have captured some ongoing surveys, resources, tool kits, information we hope will be of some benefit to you all.
Useful Information, Resources and Toolkits
DfE recently launched a platform: Skills Toolkit– a platform aimed at furloughed workers (and others that want to take the opportunity) to upskill, with an initial focus on digital and numeracy skills. Here’s a link to the GOV.UK news story. The toolkit is not sector specific and can be promoted widely. The two key audiences are to reach those individuals that may have scope to take up this offer, and also employers to encourage their staff to do so.
#LibrariesFromHome is one of the resources that can be used by parents or carers homeschooling primary age children, and is on the Hungry Little Minds campaign website, which provides fun activities for children to help stimulate speech and language development.
CILIP have also launched the National Shelf Service, to share the expertise of librarians through daily book recommendations.
Covid-19 related guidance, information and advice for charities and not-for-profits. Including: corporate/governance, employment, property and tax issues: https://www.lawworks.org.uk/legal-advice-not-profits/covid-19-faqs-and-resources-not-profits
A reminder of some of the Corona Virus Support Packages
- Coronavirus Job Retention (Furlough) Scheme where small and large employers will be eligible to apply for a government grant of 80% of workers’ salaries up to £2,500 a month. The scheme will be backdated to March 19 and available for at least three months, with the first grants to be paid within weeks.
- Self-Employed Income Support Scheme to help eligible freelance workers receive up to £2,500 per month in grants for at least three months.Those eligible will receive a cash grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the three years up to 2018/19.
- Deferral of the next quarter of VAT payments for firms, until the end of June – representing a £30bn injection into the economy.
- £330bn worth of government backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses. The Chancellor has extended the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme so that all viable small and large businesses affected by COVID-19, and not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, will now be eligible should they need finance to keep operating during this difficult time.
- Grant schemes – Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will be eligible for a £25,000 cash grant per property, for each property that has a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000. These businesses will also have a business rates holiday for the 2020/21 tax year.
- Universal Credit (UC) – The changes to UC makes it quicker and easier to access support, as well as more generous. The changes include a £20 per week increase to the Universal Credit standard allowance and Working Tax Credit basic element, a relaxation of the UC minimum income floor for all self-employed UC claimants. The relaxation of the minimum income floor means that if self-employed workers earnings have significantly reduced, their UC award will increase to reflect their lower earnings.
UK Government support
Further guidance on HMG advice can be found via the following links:
- HMG Business Support site
- Find coronavirus financial support for your business – self checker
- Job Retention Scheme
- Self-employed income support scheme
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
- Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme
- Deferral of VAT payments due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Business rates relief
- Guidance on how people can volunteer safely in the context of Covid 19
- The National Lottery Heritage Fund is making £50 million available through the Heritage Emergency Fund which will address immediate pressures over the next 3-6 months for those most in need alongside increased investment in essential digital skills across the sector, providing expertise in critical areas such as digital fundraising, use of social media and communications, running online events and activities.
Other Useful Information and Learning
- Public libraries services will be benefiting from £150,000 from Arts Council England as a contribution to meeting significantly increased demand for e-books and other e-resources.
- The British Library has made more services from its country-wide network of Business and Intellectual Property Centres available virtually to support small businesses, and has opened up its Living Knowledge Network to all library services to provide help and support and to share good practice more widely. It has significant collections of artefacts and literature online – for example, material on much-loved children’s books.