English UK raises impact of Covid-19 UK ELT and industry needs to government
Covid-19 is devastating our industry. English UK public affairs team is focusing on getting the government to understand our unique situation and supporting members in the difficult decisions they have to make in this time.
Based on responses from 40% of English UK members, we estimate the financial impact on UK ELT to be at least £68 million to date. 60% of respondents rated the impact on their business 'very high' or 'severe' (more than 40% or more than 75% loss of business).
This information helped us emphasise to government departments the seriousness and immediacy of the threat to businesses caused by Covid-19. To complement our work we encourage English UK member centres based in England to contact local MPs directly to support our campaign for better business rate relief, find a template letter you can use below. For those in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, we are looking into plans around business rates in the devolved administrations and will keep you posted.
Raising industry needs to government
On Friday we had two meetings: one with representatives from the Department for International Trade, the Home Office, the Department for Education, UKVI and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the other in Bournemouth with Trade Minister Conor Burns and members of English UK South.
Issues we raised with government officials over members' urgent needs included requests for:
- reconsideration of the business rate relief to include ELT centres and a raising of the £51,000 cap
- clarification on the status of ELT centres under any government-mandated school closure announcement
- UKVI to consider flexible/ automatic extensions for visa students currently in the UK who are impacted by travel bans or school closures
- for HMRC to provide clarity on time-to-pay protocols for SMEs .
In Bournemouth, English UK South members gave their MP Conor Burns first-hand accounts of the business devastation caused by Covid-19: he agreed to take evidence, now supplied by English UK, to urgent meetings at the Treasury this week.
Write to your MP
You can support our campaign for government to reconsider the terms of the business rate relief by writing to your local MP to raise this issue. As business rates are devolved, the letter template below is for MPs in England. We are looking into plans in the devolved administrations and will keep you posted.
Support our campaign for government to reconsider the terms of the business rate relief outlined in the Budget by writing to your local MP to raise this issue.
The 2020 Budget: useful resources for UK ELT
A range of resources for businesses was announced by the Chancellor, including CBILS loans. Others include:
English UK member centres also have access the free English UK business support helpline: an independent helpline offering expert advice on HR, health and safety, payroll, PAYE, tax and other commercial legal issues.
The Tourism Alliance has analysed the key points of the Budget for the tourism industry which gives useful detail on initiatives for our sector:
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