The Furniture Industry Research Association

The centre of knowledge for the furniture industry

News Article

BFC: COVID-19 activity review

The British Furniture Confederation (BFC) has issued an update on their activity in relation to COVID-19. Actions taken include:

Letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer

On 25 March 2020, the BFC wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak MP, highlighting the challenges faced by the sector as a result of COVID-19. They asked that he consider measures to help alleviate the problems faced by the furniture and furnishings sector.

The BFC has suggested to the Chancellor that he considers extending the 12-month Business Rates holiday to the furniture industry including all furniture manufacturing sites and B1 furniture related commercial spaces. The BFC believes that this would provide further support to the sector that has a turnover of £12.2 billion employing 123,000 highly skilled individuals in over 8,700 businesses.

Liaising with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

The BFC has continued to proactively engage with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), regularly communicating with officials in the Department about the difficulties caused by COVID-19.

The BFC has highlighted the need for clarity around business closures and who should be going to work. The Department has understood their concerns and directed them to Government guidance that can be found here. This guidance should cover what business should be doing and how they should support their employees.

Officials in BEIS are keen to hear about the challenges faced by businesses as a result of COVID-19. If you have any specific issues please get in touch with your trade association, who can feed any comments through to BEIS.

Summary of current business support

On 23 March, the BFC published a summary of relevant business support made available by the Government. The BFC will produce further such guidance when updates have been announced. An up-to-date list of Government support, available to businesses, can also be found here.

In communications with BEIS and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the BFC has welcomed the Job Retention scheme, the VAT deferral scheme and the Business Interruption Loan scheme while stating that industry needs further information as soon as possible and have called for further support.

Working with the All-Party Parliamentary Furniture Industry Group

The BFC has been in contact with the All-Party Parliamentary Furniture Industry Group (APPFIG) keeping them up- to-date on the concerns of the industry. The APPFIG is planning to meet, via video conference, to discuss in greater details the challenges faced by the furniture industry.

Members of the APPFIG are supportive of industry and the BFC will continue to liaise with the Group through the COVID-19 outbreak.

You may be interested in
entries related to...

Covid-19
27 Entries

  • FIRA International operational status

    FIRA International operational status

    News May 2020

    Quick guide to the operational status of FIRA International

  • Personal support grants

    Personal support grants

    News May 2020

    The Furniture Makers Company increasing help available

  • Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) webinars

    Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) webinars

    News May 2020

    How to make your workplace COVID-secure

  • Impact of COVID-19 on the Furniture and Furnishings Industry

    Impact of COVID-19 on the Furniture and Furnishings Industry

    News May 2020

    All-Party Parliamentary Furniture Industry Group (APPFIG) report

  • FIRA Service Technicians operations resuming

    FIRA Service Technicians operations resuming

    News May 2020

    Resumption of service planned in June

  • Coronavirus business support blog

    Coronavirus business support blog

    News May 2020

    New case studies from businesses making their workplaces COVID-secure

  • Trade Credit Insurance intervention

    Trade Credit Insurance intervention

    News May 2020

    New Q&A available

  • Job Retention Scheme extended

    Job Retention Scheme extended

    News May 2020

    Extended for four months until the end of October 2020

  • Trade Credit Insurance guarantee

    Trade Credit Insurance guarantee

    News May 2020

    Government will temporarily guarantee business-to-business transactions

  • FIRA International - continuing to operate safely

    FIRA International - continuing to operate safely

    News May 2020

    Strict social distancing and hygiene measures in place

  • Working safely during coronavirus

    Working safely during coronavirus

    News May 2020

    Covers factories / warehouses. homes, offices, shops, vehicles

  • Government COVID-19 recovery strategy

    Government COVID-19 recovery strategy

    News May 2020

    The strategy sets out a cautious roadmap

  • Coronavirus webinars and playbacks

    Coronavirus webinars and playbacks

    News May 2020

    Topics include tax, loans, grants and wage support

  • Government depts are hosting free webinars

    Government depts are hosting free webinars

    News May 2020

    Helping businesses understand the Covid-19 support available

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) Businesses and Employers Bulletin

    Coronavirus (COVID-19) Businesses and Employers Bulletin

    News April 2020

    Sign-up to receive Government alerts

  • Inquiry on the impact of COVID-19

    Inquiry on the impact of COVID-19

    News April 2020

    Video conference on 30 April.

  • FIRA International supporting NHS Nightingale Hospitals with testing

    FIRA International supporting NHS Nightingale Hospitals with testing

    News April 2020

    Testing materials to BS 7175:1989

  • Secretary of State: letter to retailers and manufacturers

    Secretary of State: letter to retailers and manufacturers

    News April 2020

    Support to keep supply chains moving

  • Supporting with COVID-19 knowledge

    Supporting with COVID-19 knowledge

    News April 2020

    New central resource for COVID-19 information

  • Social distancing in the workplace

    Social distancing in the workplace

    News April 2020

    BEIS publishes advice applicable to furniture sector

  • Furniture Makers’ Company welfare grants

    Furniture Makers’ Company welfare grants

    News April 2020

    Support during the coronavirus pandemic

  • BSI releases suite of best practice standards

    BSI releases suite of best practice standards

    News April 2020

    Risk and business continuity standards publicly available

  • FAQs: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

    FAQs: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

    News April 2020

    How the Scheme fits within employment law

  • Industry charity reaches out to affected employees

    Industry charity reaches out to affected employees

    News April 2020

    Welfare support for those affected by coronavirus

  • BFC Briefing on COVID-19 Business Assistance

    BFC Briefing on COVID-19 Business Assistance

    News March 2020

    Support the Government has made available for businesses

  • COVID-19 - Coronavirus update

    COVID-19 - Coronavirus update

    News March 2020

    Business Readiness Bulletin – 11th March 2020

  • Information on coronavirus COVID-19

    Information on coronavirus COVID-19

    Ensuring that we play a responsible role in supporting the containment of the pandemic