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CORONAVIRUS SUPPORT MEASURES HELP MORE THAN 116,000 BUSINESSES IN THE NORTH WEST

More than 116,000 businesses in the North West benefited from over £4.4 billion of support to bounce back from COVID through government-supported loan schemes.

The figures revealed today also show that more than 131,000 businesses have also benefitted from £1.5 billion in grants.

In addition, under a third of employees in the North West (29.7%) benefitted from the furlough scheme, as the government moved quickly to support businesses across the whole country and protect jobs.

Loan schemes, business grants, and business rates holidays have supported businesses across all sectors. But the retail, construction and hospitality sectors, including hotels and restaurants, have benefitted the most. This demonstrates how government support helped those businesses that were impacted hardest by the pandemic.

Similarly, the furlough and self-employed income support scheme has benefitted firms across all sectors, with 238,000 people in the North West benefitting from SEISS. Companies across the region including Willow Bridal have benefitted from this support.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said:

“We said we would do whatever it takes to protect jobs and businesses from the economic emergency brought on by Coronavirus – and that is exactly what we did.  

“Today’s figures show how our unprecedented support has benefitted the whole of the UK, and we will build on this as we move to the next stage of our recovery through our Plan for Jobs which will protect, support and create jobs for all regions across the country."

Helen Williams, Owner of Willow Bridal, said:

“The Bounce Back loan has been vital in assuring that we have been able to pay some of our supplier invoices. This has covered both our own stock items, but more importantly to us it has paid for some of our brides’ own wedding gowns which were due for delivery. We have always, and will always put our brides first in any situation, and the fact that we have been able receive their gowns has provided each bride with much needed happiness and joy, especially given many have had their wedding day plans put in jeopardy.”

The Chancellor set out his Plan for Jobs last month, which will support jobs with the Job Retention Bonus to help businesses keep furloughed workers, and expand Worksearch Support including a Flexible Support Fund and a £2 billion Kickstart scheme to subsidise jobs for young people

The government is also creating jobs in the construction and housing sectors through funding to decarbonise public sector buildings, and protecting jobs with VAT cuts for hospitality and tourism, as well as the Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said:

“We were clear from the start of this crisis that no region would be left behind, and it is heartening to see the difference our support has made for businesses of all sizes in the North West. 

“As we rebuild from the pandemic, we will continue to prioritise jobs and skills, while placing the environment at the heart of our recovery.”

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