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Bristol Business Blog: Matt Griffith, director of policy, Business West. The furlough scheme is hugely successful – but how will it end?

May 15, 2020
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Bristol Business Blog: Matt Griffith, director of policy, Business West. The furlough scheme is hugely successful – but how will it end?

One of the government’s boldest and most effective interventions during the coronavirus has been the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (or furlough scheme). It is also, undoubtedly, one of the most important for businesses. Many businesses have suffered a massive shock to income, and furloughing has offered an ability to keep outgoings to a minimum,...

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Coronavirus update: Furlough scheme extension welcomed by business groups

May 12, 2020
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Coronavirus update: Furlough scheme extension welcomed by business groups

Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s decision to extend the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to October will be a “huge relief” to firms in the West of England, according to the region’s largest business group. Business West, which runs the Swindon and Wiltshire Initiative, said its research showed the scheme, launched by Mr Sunak, pictured, in...

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Business West says post-Brexit US trade links must help firms overcome impact of Covid-19

May 5, 2020
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Business West says post-Brexit US trade links must help firms overcome impact of Covid-19

Strong trade links with the US could help the West of England’s small firms recover from the impact of coronavirus, the region’s leading business group has suggested. Business West, which runs the Swindon & Wiltshire Initiative, welcomed the start of formal post-Brexit talks between the UK and US on a future free trade agreement...

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Coronavirus update: Welcome for government’s ‘bounce back’ loans for small firms

April 28, 2020
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Coronavirus update: Welcome for government’s ‘bounce back’ loans for small firms

Business organisations have welcomed new measures by the government to help small firms survive the coronavirus pandemic, reflecting the fact that around half are being rejected for loans under the existing scheme. Business West, the organisation that runs the Swindon & Wiltshire Initiative, said Chancellor Rishi Sunak, pictured, had listened to complaints from struggling...

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Coronavirus update: Survey shows many West firms ‘looking into the abyss’ as pandemic hits sales

April 23, 2020
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Coronavirus update: Survey shows many West firms ‘looking into the abyss’ as pandemic hits sales

Fewer than one in six West of England firms believe they will be able to cope if the coronavirus crisis lasts for more than six months, according to the results of the first major survey highlighting the impact of the pandemic on the region’s businesses. More than 70% of firms have already suffered a...

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Coronavirus update: More than 40,000 firms log on to Business West’s Covid-19 advice portal

April 20, 2020
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Coronavirus update: More than 40,000 firms log on to Business West’s Covid-19 advice portal

More than 40,000 businesses have sought advice and guidance on how they can survive the coronavirus pandemic from a special service set up by Business West, the organisation behind the Swindon & Wiltshire Initiative. Trading Through Coronavirus, which went live exactly a month ago, provides expert information and guidance to businesses as well as...

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Coronavirus update: Business confidence falls as firms start to feel impact of pandemic

April 1, 2020
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Coronavirus update: Business confidence falls as firms start to feel impact of pandemic

Three-quarters of South West firms were hit by the coronavirus pandemic in the first two weeks of March, according to a new survey which also shows the outbreak has triggered a marked fall in businesses confidence in the region. Lloyds Bank’s Business Barometer – a monthly survey of more than 1,000 companies carried out...

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Coronavirus update: Profit warnings soar as firms start to feel financial impact of pandemic

March 31, 2020
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Coronavirus update: Profit warnings soar as firms start to feel financial impact of pandemic

Warnings about future profits made by South West companies listed on the London Stock Exchange have soared by 75% compared to this time last year – with most of them blaming the coronavirus pandemic. The latest analysis from international accountancy group EY shows there have been 14 profit warnings issued in the region so...

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Coronavirus update: Business West welcomes new insolvency and red tape measures

March 30, 2020
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Coronavirus update: Business West welcomes new insolvency and red tape measures

The latest moves by the government to support businesses, including relaxing the insolvency laws and removing some red tape, have been given the thumbs up by the region’s largest business organisation. Business West described the measures, announced by Business Secretary Alok Sharma on Friday evening, as sensible steps that would help protect companies weakened...

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Coronavirus update: Government ‘lifeline’ for self-employed welcomed by business groups

March 29, 2020
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Coronavirus update: Government ‘lifeline’ for self-employed welcomed by business groups

Business organisations have backed government help outlined last night to support the self-employed and sole traders affected by coronavirus, describing them as a lifeline for around 5m people. The measures announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, pictured below, provide a grant worth 80% of profits up to a cap of £2,500 a month and are targeted...

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