Blogs > John Glen Salisbury MP Diary > 29th April 2020

29th April 2020

29th April 2020

In recent days, I have been working hard to land the Bounce Back Loans Scheme, announced earlier this week by The Chancellor of the Exchequer.

It means that, from Monday 4th May, small businesses will be able to access government-backed loans of up to £50,000 quickly and with just one simple form to fill in.

They may borrow up to a quarter of their turnover with no interest or capital repayments for the first year.

This is in addition to extensive work to speed up the banks’ handling of larger loan applications.

I hope these microloans will sit well alongside the existing Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Job Retention Scheme, support for the self-employed and local government handouts to keep businesses going through this crisis.

At the time of writing, Wiltshire Council has allocated £61 million to support over 5,000 local businesses. If you have not yet been contacted and think you may qualify, contact Covid-19BusinessSupport@wiltshire.gov.uk

At the beginning of the week, I was in Parliament making an appearance at the despatch box to wind up the second reading of the Finance Bill. It was a surreal experience with many speeches made remotely via screens, but no interventions or unexpected questions, giving it a very different dynamic to the usual rough and tumble.

The Budget seems a very long time ago now but being back in the Chamber was a welcome reminder that the business of government goes on, legislation must be passed and preparations made for days not dominated by the coronavirus response.

I also took part in a webinar with 40 local businesses. My thanks go to Robin McGowan of the BID for organising a wide ranging and helpful discussion.

By the time you read this, I will be back in Salisbury working from my flat, only returning to London when I am needed in person.

On Friday, I will be chairing a virtual meeting of the Future Salisbury Place Board, which I hope will be a valuable opportunity to connect the leaders of many aspects of the economic, civic, cultural, intellectual and spiritual life of south Wiltshire.

The return of the Prime Minister to Downing Street has shifted the focus onto the steps that must be taken towards restoring normality – or a modified low-risk version of it.

The challenge is to do it in a way that does not undermine the progress we have made and that ensures the NHS retains sufficient capacity.

Nonetheless, I am keenly aware that the economic costs of supporting so many businesses present more and more questions and challenges for the future the longer it goes on.

Posted by John Glen at 10:11am

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