There is no doubt that Covid has made it a difficult year in many countries, and the UK is no exception to this. But more than 12 months have passed since the outbreak of infections, and the time has come to look forward.
The only effective way to move forward and open up economies is to control the spread of the pandemic and reduce the impact it has on people, and this has been achieved through a combination of lockdowns and vaccination programmes.
The UK has a population of approximately 53 million people over the aged 18 years, and only these are considered for vaccination at the moment. Of these, 34 million ( 65%) have received the first dose of vaccine and over 15 million have received both doses.
So, the next step is to grow the economy.
In the early stages of the pandemic the focus was on protecting businesses and jobs both through grants and Government supported loans and also direct subsidies to companies to keep employees on the payroll.
The UK has now moved on from that particular form of soft loans, although the job support funding remains in place until the end of September.
The UK Government is now focusing on supporting economic growth through the Recovery Loan Scheme. The UK Government will give the lending banks a guarantee of 80% of the loan for up to 6 years, and with a focus on supporting smaller businesses, the banks are not permitted to take any personal guarantees for these loans if the amount is less than GBP 250,000.
The Recovery Loan Scheme is open for applications until the end of 2021.
In other practical steps, the UK will move in stages from the present restriction to no restrictions at all by mid June.
The UK is in a much better situation than the rest of Europe, mainly because it started mass vaccinations 3 months earlier than most countries and had arranged supplies of vaccines from a range of manufacturers across the world.
All this means that the UK economy will be the first in Europe to recover and grow back to its pre Covid levels of activity and the first to open up to foreign investors and suppliers.
The UK remains the easiest country in Europe to set up and run your company with no withholding taxes on dividends paid, no company tax on dividends received, no requirement for Directors to register for tax in the UK, and a minimum share capital of GBP 1.00 amongst many other advantages.
EBS has been supporting overseas companies, setting up in the UK market for many years now, and we have a good understanding of the issues the investors face. At EBS, we provide a complete UK establishment service and work together with Department for International Trade to help businesses grow successfully in the UK. We look forward to helping you explore the benefits of the UK market.