April 7 coronavirus update for businesses

Lancashire Business View's daily coronavirus updates are brought to you with the support of Boost, Lancashire's growth hub, and its #AskForHelp service. You're not alone in this.

LEP offers support to businesses

Steve Fogg, chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, has said his organisation is working to clarify government support and to help those who may not be covered.

He said: "The Lancashire Enterprise Partnership is acutely aware that it is currently extremely tough for businesses, but you are not alone. We are working closely with our partner organisations to ensure that help is on hand during this difficult time and that there is a co-ordinated effort to support our Lancashire businesses to come out of the other side.

"By working together, we are able to gain a better understanding not only of the challenges and needs of businesses, but also the obstacles encountered in accessing the economic support packages and those for whom there is currently no financial support available.

"We are backing our businesses and will work with government to rectify these issues in an attempt to minimise the long-term impact of Covid-19 on the Lancashire economy.''

Lancaster Council suspends commercial rents

Lancaster City Council is suspending the collection of rent for its small business tenants as part of its coronavirus support package.

Collection of rent will be suspended automatically until further notice, so business and commercial tenants don’t need to take any action. This includes tenants of the Festival Market, Charter Market and the Assembly Rooms.

Councillor Dr Erica Lewis, leader of Lancaster City Council, said: “Businesses have been hit hard and there is a great deal of worry about whether they will be able to continue operating or, if they close down, re-open when we are finally clear of this pandemic.

“The city council has already announced the formation of a dedicated business support team and a £1m fund to help businesses. With this latest measure we hope to take away another potential worry, so businesses can concentrate on what they need to do to keep their business running."

Soap maker donates to NHS

Sarwat Jaleel, founder of microbusiness Kushboo Soaps is continuing to donate its products to good causes despite the squeeze on trade that her business has suffered.

The Clitheroe business specialises in vegan, 100% natural, ethical soaps. She said: "My business is in its third year and I have donated to the vulnerable from day one, through 'buy one and we donate one'.

"Despite everything, I am still trying to do my bit by donating soap to the local food banks and to the frontline NHS staff at Blackburn Hospital. I will continue to donate soap to anyone that is in need - we are all in this together."