Coventry businesses welcome furlough portal as payday looms

The chief executive of the CW Chamber welcomed the scheme as having “brought breathing space for companies across our patch”.

Business leaders in Coventry and Warwickshire have welcomed today’s launch of the Government’s portal for firms to claim money for their furloughed staff.

Applications are now open for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which allows employers to claim for a cash grant of up to 80 per cent of a furloughed employee’s wages, capped at £2,500 a month

The scheme has proved to be one of the most popular methods of support for businesses offered by Government during the crisis with two-thirds of companies surveyed by the British Chambers of Commerce saying they intended to furlough some staff.

Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the scheme as having “brought breathing space for companies across our patch”.

“It has been built from scratch by the Government and there is absolutely no doubt that demand on the system is going to be huge.

“From everything we hear from businesses cashflow is the biggest headache for the majority of companies and, with April’s payroll looming large on the horizon, many businesses are going to find this to be a real pinch point for cashflow so it is vital that that funds hit bank accounts as quickly as possible.”

Ms Bennett added: “It was positive news, too, that the scheme has been extended to the end of June which means firms across Coventry and Warwickshire have been given more time and money to protect more livelihoods during this crisis.

“We are in regular dialogue with businesses across our region to ensure that the support from Government is targeted in the right way.”

To read official guidance from the Government on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and to access the portal, visit gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

For more information or support from the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, call 024 7665 4321.