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COVID 19 – Government Support for Business

19 March

Funding Support for Businesses

Announcements from the Chancellor on Monday 16th March:

The £3,000 grant to small businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief has now been increased to £10,000.

The Chancellor has also announced full Business Rates Relief (a business rates holiday) for all businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors for the 2020/21 financial year. So all businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will pay no business rates for a year.

This means that every shop, pub, theatre, music venue, restaurant and any other business in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector will pay no business rates for 12 months.

In addition, the Chancellor has announced that a cash grant of up to £25,000 per business for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000 will be made, to help bridge through this period.

As with the measures from the Chancellor’s Budget, we have not yet been provided with the guidance from Central Government for these schemes and how businesses can claim for them.  However, please get in touch and as soon as we have advice we can pass this on to you and get the process started.

 

 

Support for businesses through the Coronavirus 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.

 Eligibility

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.

 

Support for businesses through the Coronavirus 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.

 Eligibility

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.

 

Support for businesses 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.

Eligibility

 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.

 

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