- Here’s your business, motoring and news round-up for Wednesday, May 6
Lloyds lends £1bn to small businesses in 24 hours
Lloyds has paid more than £1bn to small businesses as part of the government’s bounce back loans scheme, just a day after it launched on Monday.
It comes as Britain’s biggest banks revealed on Tuesday that more than 180,000 businesses had applied for loans under the scheme.
Over 32,000 of these applied to Lloyds. The businesses have been loaned an average of more than £30,000 each. The money was paid into their accounts yesterday, the bank said.
Economy set for deepest downturn in living memory
The economy is on course for a downturn deeper than anything seen in living memory as the service sector plummeted to a new record low.
The IHS Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for services dropped to 13.4 in April, by far the worst score since the survey started in 1996.
‘The downturn in the economy during the second quarter will be far deeper and more widespread than anything seen in living memory,’ said Tim Moore, economics director at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.
He said the score is consistent with a quarterly seven per cent drop in the economy, but even such a doomsday prediction may be optimistic.
Furloughed employees MUST return if they can
Dealers worrying that some furloughed employees may be able to stay away from work after the lockdown starts to ease because they’re worried about the risk of infection have the law on their side, it has been confirmed.
Car Dealer has been contacted by a showroom boss who said his staff were refusing to return to work because they feared it wasn’t safe.
Lawgistics experts told us yesterday that they are not allowed to do that. Read the full story here.
Petrol prices drop to four-year low
Petrol prices have sunk to a four-year low, new figures show. The average cost of a litre of the fuel at UK forecourts is £1.08.
It has not been this low since April 2016. The price collapse means filling a 55-litre family car is around £7 cheaper today than six weeks ago.
Diesel has also fallen in price, sinking to an average of £1.15 per litre, which is the lowest level since October 2016.
Virgin Atlantic to cut 3,150 jobs and end Gatwick flights
Virgin Atlantic has announced plans to cut more than 3,000 jobs and end its operation at Gatwick.
The airline said it will reduce its workforce by 3,150 people – equivalent to more than a 30 per cent cut.
Virgin Atlantic’s flights from Gatwick – grounded due to the collapse in demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic – will not restart. Some routes will be switched to Heathrow.
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Airbnb laying off 1,900 employees
Airbnb is laying off 25 per cent of its workforce as it confronts a steep decline in global travel.
It is a serious setback for the 12-year-old home-sharing company, which a few months ago was valued at $31bn and planning a hotly anticipated IPO.
In a letter to employees, chief executive Brian Chesky said the company is letting 1,900 of its 7,500 workers go and cutting businesses that do not directly support home-sharing, such as its investments in hotels air transportation and movie production.
The new Seat Leon will cost from £19,855
Order books for the new Seat Leon have opened with prices starting from £19,855.
Available as both an estate and a hatchback, there will be three trim levels, with more joining the line-up later along with diesel and electrified powertrains.
Seat says the entry-level SE trim can be financed on a PCP for £195 per month over four years. The most popular model is expected to be the sporty FR with a 128bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine costing £23,515.
UK death toll passes Italy to be highest in Europe
With 29,427 deaths in the UK now recorded – the death toll here is higher than any other country in Europe.
Italy has the second highest death toll behind the UK with 29,315 deaths. The Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has called it ‘a massive tragedy’.
The news comes as the government rolled out a trial for an NHS tracing app on the Isle of Wight among health care workers. It will be rolled out to the public tomorrow and, if successful, the rest of the country later this month.
Just when you thought superhuman Tom Cruise couldn’t get any more manly, he’s announced he will shoot his next film in space. Yes, space.
Teaming up with NASA, Cruise is set to board the International Space Station to film ‘the first narrative feature outside Earth’.
NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said: ‘We need popular media to inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists to make NASA’s ambitious plans a reality.’
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