With the COVID19 pandemic now affecting many small businesses, the UK government have put several new assistance schemes in place to support businesses through the next few challenging weeks/months. We are experts who understand these schemes and can help and advise all rural and coastal businesses on understanding the various complexities these schemes may entail.
Please see an update of options below (or click through to our News & Funding page for each article)
Call us for any assistance – 01837 658643 or email: [email protected]
Support for businesses through the Coronavirus
Small Business Grant Scheme
The Government is providing additional funding for Local Authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.
Please note that properties which are occupied for personal use, e.g. private stables, beach huts, moorings etc. will not qualify for these grants.
The Council will receive the Government funding on 1st April. The Council will send a letter to the business rates contact address of businesses who might be eligible for the cash grants. This will be in the next few days.
How to Apply
The letter has been sent to the business rates contact address of businesses who may be eligible for the cash grants. Councils are asking businesses to look out for this letter at their business rates contact address as it will contain a unique reference number to enable businesses to apply online. Eligible businesses will be asked to apply online on the Council’s website in order for a payment to be made direct into their business bank account.
The payment should be received by eligible businesses in early April. If the Local Authority have an email address they will tell you its gone out (to the registered business address).
If you aren’t able to travel to your business contact address, you can contact your council and provide an email address and they will email a copy of the letter to you. The councils are struggling to answer queries so it’s best to email rather than call, and wait for a response. Some councils (such as East Devon) will be making phone calls to eligible businesses to gather email addresses to send out a copy of the letter where they do not have an email address already on file.
If you are able to travel and haven’t revived an email then it’s probably worth waiting until the beginning of next week before travelling to see if it’s arrived to avoid having to make more journeys than necessary.
In the letter will be a pin code to access the system. The claim form is straightforward BUT the pin can only be used once so don’t make any mistakes. You will need to have the following information in order to make a claim:
- VAT number (if applicable)
- Business rates account number
- Company number and business name
- Bank account number and sort code
- A copy of a recent bank statement (less than 3 months old)
Make sure to double check every number especially bank accounts and sort codes.
To upload your bank statement you will need to take a photo of it and either upload it directly from your phone, or save it to a computer first depending on what device you’re using to complete the form. Images must clearly show your bank account details so that the information can be verified and to make sure the payment goes to the correct account. Local authorities will never ask for your bank details over the phone.
Teignbridge Council have created a useful video with information on how to apply – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSc_6adpse4&t=
Business Interruption Loan Scheme
A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will launch early next week to support primarily small and medium-sized businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts.
The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value.
You are eligible for the scheme if:
- your business is UK based, with turnover of no more than £45 million per year
- your business meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria
How to access the scheme
The full rules of the Scheme and the list of accredited lenders is available on the British Business Bank website. All the major banks will offer the Scheme once it has launched. There are 40 accredited providers in all.
You should talk to your bank or finance provider (not the British Business Bank) as soon as possible and discuss your business plan with them. This will help your finance provider to act quickly once the Scheme has launched. If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow.
The scheme will be available week commencing 23 March.
Job Retention Scheme
Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.
All UK businesses are eligible.
How to access the scheme
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
- submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required)
HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.
If your business needs short term cash flow support, you may be eligible for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan.
paying tax: Time to Pay service
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 are eligible if your business:
- pays tax to the UK government
- has outstanding tax liabilities
How to access the scheme
If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559. If you’re worried about a future payment, please call HMRC nearer the time.
sUPPORT FOR SELF-EMPLOYED:
The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak has today announced a long awaited financial support package for those who are self-employed. The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme will offer a taxable grant of up to 80% of a self-employed person’s income based on their tax return over the past three years, capped at £2,500 per month. It is open to anyone who is self-employed (and makes a majority of their earnings from self-employment) with trading profits of £50,000 or less and have already received a tax return for 2019.
The scheme will become available at the beginning of June and will initially last for 3 months. Payments will be back dated from 1st March 2020 and if you are eligible you will be contacted directly by HMRC. You will then be able to fill in an online form and the grant will be paid directly into your bank account.
In addition, to those who are late with filing their latest tax return, there will be an additional period of 4 weeks to complete these.
The Chancellor when questioned also stated that for those who do not have 3 years worth of accounts, HMRC will be basing it on whatever number of tax returns are available.
Self-employed people will also now be able to access the Universal Credit system in full.
Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government-ordered closure should be covered, as the government and insurance industry confirmed on 17 March 2020 that advice to avoid pubs, theatres etc is sufficient to make a claim as long as all other terms and conditions are met.
Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. Most businesses are unlikely to be covered, as standard business interruption insurance policies are dependent on damage to property and will exclude pandemics.
CAF CORONAVIRUS EMERGENCY FUND
This Fund is to help smaller charitable organisations in the UK affected by the impact of Covid-19. Grants of up to £10,000 are available.
In this time of national crisis, CAF has launched this rapid response Fund to help smaller charitable organisations affected by the impact of Covid-19. Grants of up to £10,000 will help them to continue to deliver much needed support to our communities across the UK.
This is intended as a rapid response fund, and we aim to make payments to selected organisations within 14 days of application.