My office and I have received a number of enquiries from constituents across the Forest of Dean about support for self-employed people. That’s why I am pleased that the Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme service is now open to applicants.
HMRC has already started contacting people who may be eligible with information about how to make an online claim. You can also check your eligibility by using the Government’s online checker.
The scheme will allow self-employed people to claim a taxable grant of 80% of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 altogether.
Thanks to a huge amount of work from the Government and HMRC, payments are expected to reach bank accounts six working days after the claim is made – this means that money will start filtering through before the end of May and ahead of the original schedule of early June.
In addition, the Government-backed Bounce Back Loan scheme for small businesses was launched last week. With more than 69,000 Bounce Back Loans worth over £2 billion approved during the first 24 hours, thousands of small firms and sole traders are receiving vital cash loans to keep themselves operating.
The feedback I have received from local businesses, including those who had trouble with the previous CBILS scheme, has been that the Bounce Back Loans are working well and the money is transferred within days – providing immediate support.
I would also like to take a moment to thank those who joined in the two-minutes’ silence for VE Day and draw your attention to our very own Trooper Denis Ireland in the Forest of Dean.
Trooper Denis, who will turn 97 in July, who served in the 16th/5th Lancers in the Second World War, is raising funds for the Great Oaks Hospice in the Trooper Denis Challenge by walking 97 times up and down his drive.
The team at Great Oaks Hospice in Coleford do brilliant work and I have been privileged to visit the Hospice on many occasions during my 15 years as the Forest’s MP.
You can read more about his fantastic efforts and donate to a brilliant cause at his JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/denis-ireland