Monday, April 20, latest;
Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered the daily coronavirus press conference, with an update on PPE, the Job Retention Scheme and new business funding.
Sunak confirmed that regular shipments of PPE are coming in from suppliers in the UK and abroad, and the Government is working to resolve the Turkish shipment of PPE as soon as possible, following some unexpected delays at the weekend. Further options of PPE procurement.are also being pursed, as a shipment of 140,000 gowns was unloaded from Myanmar.
Onto wages and the economy, the Chancellor confirmed that HMRC opened the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme at 8am this morning, and as of 4pm over 140,000 firms have applied.
He also announced that the UK government has promised £1bn worth of support for startups struggling to cope amid the coronavirus pandemic, committing £250m towards a new £500m fund that would invest in high-growth private companies that needed money. Launching in May, the Future Fund will provide UK-based early stage companies with convertible loans between £125,000 and £5 million.
The other half of the £500m Future Fund will be supplied by the private sector, with the startup investment dovetailing alongside private sector investment.
In addition, there will also be an investment of £750m worth of grants and loan funding to help innovative small and medium-sized businesses focusing on research and development, and this will be available through Innovate UK’s grants and loan scheme.