Coronavirus Update – Tuesday 28th April 2020

The Chancellor has launched a new 100% Government‐backed Bounce Back Loan Scheme for small businesses which will open for applications on Monday 4 May:

• Small businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 from an accredited lender and access the cash within days
• The Government will pay any fees and interest for the first 12 months, as well as providing lenders with a 100% guarantee for the loan
• No repayments will be due during the first 12 months
• Loans can be applied for online using a short and simple form.

The new scheme will run alongside the existing Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and the Government is taking additional steps to ensure lenders can process applications quickly, including changing the viability tests so that all a bank needs to assess is whether a business was viable pre‐coronavirus.

The Government has confirmed that coronavirus (COVID‐19) testing is now available for essential workers and members of their households who are showing symptoms of coronavirus. Some construction workers working on projects or infrastructure critical to the response to coronavirus may be categorised as essential workers.

There are two ways to arrange a test:

• Self‐referral ‐ enables essential workers to book a test directly using the new online system
• Employer referral ‐ allows employers to refer essential workers for a test via a secure portal. Employers will need to obtain a login by emailing with their organisation name, nature of their business, region, and names and email addresses for two users. Contractors may find it more efficient for clients already registered for their essential workers to request the test on their behalf.

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) will have a third conference call with Nadhim Zahawi, Minister for Business and Industry, later this week which Build UK will be attending.

Following concerns over services provided by utility companies in relation to site connections, Build UK has been notified that E.ON has remobilised and will now be connecting new buildings.

Build UK is receiving confirmation that the materials supply chain is starting to open up. You can help to accelerate this process by demonstrating the levels of demand via our short Materials & Accommodation Survey as soon as possible and by 5:00pm on Wednesday 29 April at the latest.

Businesses should continue to follow the most up‐to‐date Government guidance and for the latest updates please follow Build UK on Twitter and LinkedIn. If you have any construction‐specific queries or feedback on what is happening within the industry, please contact Build UK