March 25 coronavirus update for businesses

Ainscough calls for manufacturers to shut down factories

Ainscough Industrial Services, which operates locations in Leyland and Standish, is calling on its manufacturing peers to shut down their factories to help prevent the spread of coronavirus and prepare for the future.

Stephen Edge, group engineering director explains “Many manufacturers operate with annual shutdowns, which allows them to execute corrective and planned maintenance needing major outages in a controlled way.  They do this as good management and to allow machinery to be out of service while not greatly impacting the supply chain.  However, we’re in an unparalleled period of disruption and manufacturers are reacting to this to reduce the commercial impact of the pandemic.

“It makes sense to consider bringing outages forward where they can, and we would expect that this is already being scheduled to make use of any reduced production periods they may currently be facing.  In this way, manufacturers will put major outages behind them when the Covid-19 outbreak has subsided and they need their machinery to run.”

Chris Fletcher, policy, campaigns and communications director of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said: “At a time of huge upheaval in this unprecedented crisis many businesses will be looking for and having to adopt brand new ways of working and the idea of expediting the shutdown to allow this work to be done now so that once we are out of it we can literally hit the ground running makes absolute sense.

"There are obviously still health issues to consider but the idea, if it can be delivered, is exactly the right type of response looking forward to when the crisis has passed. It is vital that once we can we all get behind the economy to get the country going again."

British Business Bank publishes details of loan scheme

The British Business Bank has published details of the The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, announced by the chancellor in the spring budget.

The programme can provide facilities of up to £5m for smaller businesses across the UK who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cashflow. Finance is available in the form of  loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance which benefit from guarantees, waived fees and deferred interest repayment.

More details can be found here

Voucher scheme helps public support venues

Lancaster-based creative agency Hotfoot Design and gift voucher platform Regalo are offering free online gift voucher shops for local businesses. 

Hospitality venues and leisure destinations are able to sell gift vouchers directly to customers which are delivered by email through the new gift voucher discovery website Vouch.

Local Vouch participants already include Lancaster Brewery, Samlesbury Hall, the Plough at Lupton, the Sun Hotel & Bar, and the Lawrence Hotel.

Harriet Russell, of Vouch and Regalo Gifts, said: "This is an incredibly challenging time for all of us, but it is particularly difficult for those working in the hospitality and leisure sector. We’re seeing such a wonderful community spirit arising across the nation in response to the virus outbreak, and we thought this is the best way we could help our local, independent businesses.

"Gift vouchers are something to look forward to at the best of times, but now they offer a way to support the venues and places we love when they need it most. Buy now and experience later is the message, as we encourage everyone to vouch for the future. Together we'll get through this."

Businesses can sign-up for free to sell their gift vouchers through

Chorley Group offers discounted servicing to NHS staff

Lancashire-based Nissan dealer Chorley Group is helping prevent the spread of coronavirus by undertaking thorough hygiene and sanitation processes, as well as allowing customers to complete large parts of their car purchase over the phone or online.

The company is also rewarding NHS staff and care workers by halving the cost of car repairs and servicing.

Adam Turner, sales director, said: "We know how difficult it is for everyone at the moment, and we want to make life a bit easier for those people working to keep us and our families safe and well. We are here for our customers, our team and our suppliers, too. Everyone is coming together and working hard to ensure we have 100% business continuity."

To take advantage of the offer, visit one of the Nissan dealerships in Chorley, Preston, Burnley, Blackpool and Wigan or visit


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