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*On 18 March the government announced loan guarantees for some businesses following forecasts of a significant drop in business. For the hospitality and leisure sector there will be a business rates holiday and a £25k cash grant per retail and leisure business for those without specific pandemic insurance.<ref>[ BBC News] (Retrieved 18 March 2020)</ref> This was subsequently extended to include other measures, including a 'furlough' scheme by which the government funded up to 80% of wages for laid off staff.
*On 23 March more severe measures closed the shops and resulted in a partial 'shutdown', with people told not to leave their homes.
*On 17 April the partial shutdown was extended for a further three weeks. The government pay scheme for furloughed workers was extended until the end of June and would be extended again "if necessary"<ref>[ BBC Business, 'Coronavirus: Salary subsidy scheme extended into June', 17 April 2020] (Retrieved 18 April 2020)</ref>.
===Timeline of events on the SVR===
*9 April: the total closure was extended until at least the end of May.
*15 April: the total closure was extended until at least the end of June, and the 1940s event cancelled.
*16 April: the appeal reached £416,193.
==Effects on the SVR==
The combination of [[Severn Valley Railway Timeline 2020-2029#2020|February's flooding and land movements]], the continuing planned work at Falling Sands and coronavirus and meant the SVR was faced with a serious financial challenge. Three-quarters of paid staff were temporarily 'furloughed', volunteers instructed not to attend, and only minimal contract engineering work continued. The railway remained unconnected between Bewdley and Kidderminster.<ref>[ Branch Lines, April 2020] (Retrieved 2 April 2020)</ref>.
The SVR also announced it would not be able "to make our crucial annual investment into the Railway. This amounts to £4.5million, and funds essential restorations to our infrastructure and rolling stock, along with apprentice training and a desperately needed overhaul of our IT infrastructure"<ref>[ Holden, M., Rail Advent 17 April 2020] (Retrieved 18 April 2020)</ref>.
==See also==
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