£4bn green strategy to create 250,000 jobs

The Government is to invest £4bn in creating 250,000 new green jobs as part of its plan to hit net zero emissions by 2050. Boris Johnson has published a 10-point strategy to achieve the goal, emphasising potential jobs that the so-called green industrial revolution could bring to regions that have suffered industrial decline. As part of the plan, the Prime Minister also announced billions of pounds of new investment across a range of technologies. To encourage the switch to electric vehicles, some £1.3bn will be spent on the rollout of new charging points on streets and motorways across the country. There will also be £582m in grants to aid buyers of low or zero emission vehicles, as well as £500m on developing electric vehicles. Additionally, £500m will go towards developing hydrogen technologies to heat homes, with plans to develop a “Hydrogen Town” with tens of thousands of houses by the end of the decade.

BBC News, Financial Times, City AM, The Times
Record numbers access BBB start-up loans

A record number of small companies have accessed start-up loans from the British Business Bank during lockdown. Some 2,670 loans were provided under the bank’s start-up loan scheme - up by nearly a quarter compared to the same period last year. The total value of the loans also jumped by 39% to £32m. Spokesperson Richard Bearman said there had been a drop in the amount drawn by entrepreneurs during the very start of lockdown, but the number of people visiting the scheme’s webpage doubled through July onwards. Federation of Small Businesses chair Mike Cherry said: “We now need to see the Government deliver an ambitious commitment to the start-up loans programme at its upcoming spending review – an ambitious, scaled-up multi-year funding settlement that will support new entrepreneurs well into the future.”

The Independent
UK takeovers regime boost urged by Labour

The Labour Party is to issue a call for a reinforcing of the UK’s company takeover regime, with shadow business secretary Ed Miliband, arguing that ministers should be enabled to “call in” or investigate deals which breach the government’s industrial strategy. He commented: “It’s right that the government is bringing the UK into line with other countries to give itself powers to protect national security, but this bill is a missed opportunity to do so on wider industrial strategy. Every month that goes by when ministers don’t legislate on these issues leaves us more vulnerable to losing vital economic interests,” citing Arm’s controversial takeover by Nvidia.

Financial Times
Online sales set to break records

A new report from IMRG has claimed that the combination of Black Friday discounts and coronavirus restrictions will make November a record-breaking month for online spending in the UK, with web sales expected to rise 60%. Of 320 retailers monitored by IMRG, by the middle of last week more than one in 10 had launched their Black Friday campaigns, compared with about 4% in 2019. A separate report for Vouchercodes found that shoppers are expected to spend £7.5bn during Black Friday. That would be a fall of about 12% on last year, with the dip blamed solely on lockdown store closures. Online sales are expected to be £2bn higher at £5.8bn. Patrick O'Brien, at GlobalData, said he expected strong Black Friday sales with multichannel retailers “desperate to make up for lost store sales” via their websites.

The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph