Covid-19 Update: Wednesday 8 July 2020

Today, the Chancellor delivered his highly anticipated Summer Economic Statement, outlining Covid-19 recovery measures for the UK. As expected, much of the statement focussed on job retention and creation. Please see below a summary of what was included:

  • A new £9 billion jobs retention bonus will pay employers who bring back furloughed staff and continue to employ them to January an £1000 bonus
  • The Governments £2 billion Kickstart Scheme will directly pay employers to create new jobs for any 16 to 24-year-old at risk of long-term unemployment
  • The Government will give companies £2,000 each to encourage them to hire apprentices
  • There will be a temporary holiday on stamp duty on the first £500,000 of all property sales in England and Northern Ireland, to run until 31 March next year.
  • The £3 bllion green jobs plan includes a £2bn Green Homes Grant for homeowners and landlords to make their homes more energy efficient and create local jobs, and £1bn of funding to improve the energy efficiency of public sector buildings
  • VAT for food, accommodations and attractions will be reduced from 20% to 5% to aid the hospitality sector
  • The Eat Out to Help Out scheme will give everyone 50% off meals in participating restaurants during August to boost the hospitality industry

Click here to read the full policy paper. Further guidance on specific policies will be released this week.

Responding to the Statement, Jace Tyrrell, Chief Executive at New West End Company said: “While the Government’s financial support provided over lockdown provided the hospitality sector with much needed immediate relief, and we welcome the Chancellor’s move to cut VAT to 5% for the tourism and hospitality sectors, we would still urge for further measures to be taken to support businesses that rely heavily on both domestic and international tourism. We need to ensure that retail and hospitality businesses can run viably throughout the summer and beyond. Measures including extending Sunday trading hours in International Centres and extending tax-free shopping to EU citizens post Brexit will boost sales and sustain footfall of local shoppers, then domestic and overseas visitors, and ensure that our businesses can survive through the summer months.”  

Public Health England has issued its guidance for businesses maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test & TraceClick here to read the guidance.

New West End Company has partnered with Transport for London and Heart of London Business Alliance to provide bespoke travel information, localised to West End employers and employees to support the reopening of the West End. Click here to read the guidance.

Click here for key Government & business support linksour Business Support Guide and our latest Reopening Plans.

Click here for ways in which you and your business can support frontline staff and the wider Westminster community.

Wed 8 July 2020