03 April 2020

Coronavirus Update (COVID-19)

This has been another challenging week across the constituency. I’d like to thank those of you who are supporting residents who need help and care. I’d also like to show my solidarity with those who are missing their usual contact with family and friends. It’s important that we make these sacrifices to beat this epidemic but we must remember the impact which isolation has on those who feel lonely. 

In addition to helping with individual casework, I have been lobbying hard to get the PPE, virus testing and ventilators which we need in East Sussex. I speak daily to those running our essential services and I voice their concerns to Ministers.

Many of you will not only be concerned about your health and welfare but your finances as well. We’ve taken unprecedented steps to help protect the pay of workers and self-employed. We’ve also acted to help companies access Government guaranteed finance. I’ve been lobbying to make sure lenders offer these terms and do so in a timely manner. Not everyone is going to be covered as fully and I recognise the disappointment for those who fall in to this category. 

I wish you all well and thank you for doing all you can to beat this epidemic. Keep social-distancing, keep washing your hands and keep supporting each other.

We will get through this.


Changes to Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme 

The Government are stepping in to give guarantees of 80% for company refinancing. All viable businesses impacted by COVID-19 will now benefit (without first having to access commercial terms). No personal guarantees for loans below £250,000. For those above £250,000, the personal guarantee only applies to the last 20% not guaranteed by Government. Loan process speeded up. I’ve been lobbying for these changes all week following concerns from local businesses.
Read more here
Support for Businesses

Whatever business you may have, there is guidance out there to help you get through this challenging time. Please check the website below for any assistance you will be entitled to:
Click here
Advice for the self-employed
If you are a self-employed worker you may be eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. 
For further advice:
Click here
Support for those in Isolation

If isolation is proving a difficult time, you don't have to be alone.
There is much support available in the area: 
Click here.
Mental Health Support

Isolation, along with the potential impact of coronavirus, can take a toll on our mental health. You are not alone and if you are having a difficult time please follow the link below:
Click here
Small Business Grant

If you are a small business which occupies property but pays little or no business rate, you’ll be entitled to claim £10,000 to help meet your costs from the Coronavirus disruption.
For more information Click Here. Please also visit either the Rother or Wealden District Council websites.
Information for Employees

For those who fall ill, need time off work to self-isolate, wish to take advantage of the Government paying 80% of wages to avoid redundancy or want advice on whether to work from home, read here for more guidance.
Can your business help? 

Businesses who want to support the national and local response can sign up here. If you have staff who are on furloughed leave and looking to volunteer then please see the section on volunteering.

In this difficult time, local groups and charities are calling for help from anyone who can offer it. We have compiled a list of ways you can lend a hand:
Click here
Faith Support

Faith support is important during this difficult time. Local churches and faith groups are working to continue delivering remote services. I have shared links to some on my website and would welcome hearing from other faith groups.
For more information:
Click here
If you would like to arrange an appointment to see me at an advice surgery, please email: [email protected] or call 01424 736861
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Huw Merriman MP · Bexhill and Battle Conservative Association · 6a Amherst Road · BEXHILL-ON-SEA, East Sussex TN40 1QJ · United Kingdom

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