The Government has announced a series of unprecedented measures to support businesses, employees and individuals. Details as follows:

  • A Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – the scheme is open to all UK employers for at least 3 months starting from 1st March 2020. Find out if you are eligible.
  • The deferring of VAT and Income Tax payments. Click here to find out how to defer your VAT payment
  • Statutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium sized businesses 
  • A 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
  • Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • A new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • The HMRC Time To Pay Scheme 

Check the business support website for frequently asked questions.

Important points to note:

  1. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. You will need to designate affected employees as  ‘furloughed workers’ and submit information to HMRC about employees who have been furloughed. It is anticipated that the website for this will be launched by the end of April. HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers salary up to a cap of £2,500 per month, per employee.
  2. Deferring VAT. All UK businesses registered for VAT are eligible. No applications are required however, if you choose to defer the payment of your VAT you will need to contact your bank to cancel the Direct Debit. You must pay the VAT due on or before the 31st March 2021 and VAT payments due following the end of the deferral period will have to be repaid as normal.
  3. Statutory Sick Pay relief. This is available to employers with fewer than 250 employees. The refund will cover up to 2 weeks SSP per eligible employee that has been off work due to Covid-19. Employers will be able to reclaim expenditure, although the repayment mechanism has yet to be set up.
  4. Support for businesses that pay rates. The business rates holiday is for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses only.
  5. Cash grant for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses. For businesses with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000 a cash grant of £25,000 will be available. Your local authority will contact you if you are eligible.
  6. Support for businesses that pay little or no rates. If you pay little or no rates as a result of because of small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief, your business could be eligible for a one-off grant of up to £10,000. You may need to submit an application to your local authority to get the grant. Check your local authority website for details.
  7. Coronavirus business interruption loan scheme. This is aimed at providing support for SME’s to access bank lending and overdrafts. The Government will guarantee 80% of the loan up to £5 million in value. Loans are interest free for the first 12 months and with turnover of no more than £45 million per year and for businesses that meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria
  8. Time to pay scheme. Businesses in financial distress, with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible for support through HMRC’s Time To Pay Service. Arrangements are on a case bycase basis. To access the scheme call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 024 1222
  9. Commercial Insurance. Insurance policies differ widely, so you are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of your specific policy to see if it covers pandemics or unspecified notifiable diseases such as Covid-19.

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