key update from John Bridge OBE DL

Pay As You Grow Scheme for Bounce Back Loans (BBLS)

It is really positive that details of the Pay As You Grow Scheme have just been announced by HM Treasury and the British Business Bank - the scheme aimed at giving borrowers more time and flexibility to repay their BBLS loan - a key ask of the Chancellor from our Chamber.

It was confirmed that this scheme will cover the following measures open to BBLS borrowers:
  • An extension of their loan term to 10 years from six years, at the same fixed interest rate of 2.5%.
  • Reducing monthly repayments for six months by paying interest only. This option is available up to three times during the term of their Bounce Back Loan.
  • Taking a repayment holiday for up to six months. This option is available only once during the term of the BBLS. The borrower can now access this easement right away, rather than the original requirement of having to make six regular payments.
Lenders will start to communicate the Pay As You Grow options to BBLS borrowers three months before repayments commence, starting from next week with the first payments due in May 2021.

Details of the release by the British Business Bank can be found here.

Boost to rapid workplace testing

As a Chamber we have been calling for broad-based workplace testing so we are pleased that the Government is expanding provision of rapid tests to more businesses. Rapid roll out of the vaccine, mass testing and an effective track and trace system are all critical to unlocking the economy and returning to some sense of normality.

Criteria for joining the workplace testing programme is reduced from businesses with more than 259 employees down to businesses with more than 50 employees, boosting the availability of rapid testing further.

The new government drive was announced yesterday to increase workplace testing in sectors open during lockdown, to detect coronavirus (COVID-19) in people who are not showing symptoms.

The press release can be accessed here.

You can register to order coronavirus tests for your employees and get the forms you need to order coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests for your employees on this link.

Reforms to the Prompt Payment Code

A reformed Prompt Payment Code was launched this week. In addition to the current commitment to pay 95% of all payments to their supply chain within 60 days, signatories of the reformed code will also be committed to paying 95% of their small business suppliers within 30 days (down from 60 days) from July 2021 with commitments to be made personally by CEOs or Finance Directors.

More information on the Prompt Payment Code can be found here.

Business Bank Account Finder tool launched

UK Finance and Finpoint have launched a new Business Bank Account Finder tool  which sets out the currently available bank account options. There is also a ‘Covid Update’ button on each available product, with those firms currently closed to applications from new businesses highlighted in yellow and those open to new customers displayed in green.

Contact the Chamber

01223 237414 •
Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce
Clifford House, 2 Station Yard, Oakington, Cambridge, CB24 3AH