Support for Business
The UK Government have introduced a number of support packages to help businesses through this challenging time.
This information was correct as of 26th March 2020.
Small Business Grant Funding
If you are a small business and the premises you lease is already eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Relief then you may recieve a one off grant of £10,000.
This is being administered by your local council authority and there is no need for you to apply. They will write to you in due course and tell you what you need to do next.
Retail, Hospitality or Leisure Businesses
If your business is in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sector. You could be eligible for one of the following grants:
If your business is in premises with a rateable value of upto £15,000 then you will be eligible for a grant of £10,000.
If your premises has a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000 then you will be eligible for a grant of £25,000.
Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied properties that are wholly or mainly being used:
- as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
- for assembly and leisure
- as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation
Your local authority will be in contact to advise how you can claim.
Businesses in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sector will have NO business rates to pay for 2020/2021.
Properties that will benefit from the relief will be those that are wholly or mainly being used:
- as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues,
- for assembly and leisure; or
- as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.
You will not need to do anything. Your local authority wil apply the rates holiday automatically.
Corona Virus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
The temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme supports small and medium-sized businesses with access to loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance of up to £5 million and for up to six years.
The Government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.
The scheme will be delivered through commercial lenders, backed by the Government-owned British Business Bank.
There are 40 accredited lenders able to offer the scheme, including all the major banks.
More information can be found at The British Business Bank
Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility
The new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) means that the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from larger companies. This will support companies which are fundamentally strong, but have been affected by a short-term funding squeeze. It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms. The scheme will be funded by central bank reserves – in line with other Bank of England market operations. It will operate for at least 12 months, and for as long as steps are needed to relieve cash flow pressures on firms that make a material contribution to the UK economy.
More information can be found here: Bank of England
Time to Pay
All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.
You can call the HMRC helpline for advice on 0800 0159 559 or contact them online here.
HMRC will support businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months.
This is an automatic offer with no applications required. UK Registered businesses will not need to make VAT payments normally due with VAT returns during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020-21 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal.
Customers who normally pay by direct debit should cancel their direct debit with their bank if they are unable to pay. Please do so in sufficient time so that HMRC do not attempt to automatically collect on receipt of your VAT return.
Deferral of Self Assessment Payments
The Self- Assessment payment on account, that is ordinarily due to be paid to HMRC by 31 July 2020 may now be deferred until January 2021.
If you are due to pay a self- assessment payment on account on 31 July 2020 then you are eligible for the deferment. The deferment is intended to assist self-assessment taxpayers, including those who are self-employed, who are suffering hardship as a result of the coronavirus.
The deferment is optional and any persons still able to pay their second self-assessment payment on account on 31 July 2020 should still do so.
This is an automatic offer with no applications required. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged if you defer payment of your July 2020 payment on account until January 2021.
HMRC have also scaled up their Time to Pay offer to all firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of coronavirus and have outstanding tax liabilities.
On 31 July 2020 when your self-assessment payment on account, ordinarily due to be paid on that date, may be deferred until 31 January 2021.
Corona Virus Job Retention Scheme
Under the coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. This applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the pay roll, otherwise described as ‘furloughed workers’. HMRC will reimburse 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 per month. This is to safeguard workers from being made redundant. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to March 1st and is initially open for 3 months, but will be extended if necessary.
You will need to:
- Designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change – changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation.
- Once the new online portal is live, submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings (HMRC will set out further details on the information required)
Statutory Sick pay Rebate
The Government will bring forward legislation to allow small and medium-sized businesses to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for staff sickness absence due to coronavirus. This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of coronavirus.
The government are currently working on a system to facilitate this.
If you are finding finances difficult at this time please see the previous information for help to finance the wait.