On Friday the Business Secretary, Alok Sharma announced changes to insolvency laws to give businesses who have felt the impact of the coronavirus greater flexibility.
Also announced was a temporary suspension of “wrongful trading laws”, which stop company directors from being prosecuted for keeping a business going when it’s insolvent or hasn’t got a reasonable prospect of survival.
The idea is to remove the fear bosses might have of trading through such turbulent and uncertain times and to give them breathing space. The chance to “bounce back”, as the business secretary put it.
Suren Thiru, British Chambers of Commerce Head of Economics, said: “Businesses will welcome the government’s sensible steps to amend insolvency laws to help protect companies weakened by the impact of coronavirus.”
“Companies that were viable before the outbreak must be supported to ensure they can help power the recovery when the immediate crisis is over.”
The government also announced measures to cut red tape to allow new producers of hand sanitser and personal protective equipment (PPE) to bring products to market ‘in the matter of days’. Speeding this process up will be vital to limiting the spread of the virus and reducing the burden on the national health service.
Hannah Essex, BCC Co-Executive Director, said: “Businesses across the UK will welcome measures that help them contribute to the national effort to tackle Coronavirus. Action to speed up the production of these supplies will be vital to limiting the spread of the virus and reducing the burden on our health service.
“Chambers and their members are working together to see how they can play their part, including gathering unused PPE equipment from local businesses and delivering them to the NHS.”
There is still a call from the government to businesses who can help provide PPE and other vital equipment in order to help health workers on the front line.
For more information please visit our Coronavirus Information Hub where we will be posting the latest support and guidance available to businesses.