As we watch the news unfold of the UK being hit by Coronavirus we are receiving countless phone calls and emails from worried business owners. As business owners ourselves we want to ensure that we are supporting our clients and local business community with information that they may find useful.
Many of the items mentioned below were announced in the budget as a way to keep the British economy moving and to prevent SME’s from failing.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
A new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will enable businesses with a turnover of no more than £41 million to apply for a loan of up to £1.2 million, with the government covering up to 80% of any losses with no fees. The loan scheme should be available within weeks.
Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay
For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of statutory sick pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full.
SSP will now be available for eligible individuals diagnosed with coronavirus or those who are unable to work because they are self-isolating in line with government advice.
The weekly allowance for SSP will increase from £94.25 to £95.85 on 6 April.
HMRC Tax Helpline For Businesses and Self Employed Affected By Coronavirus
A dedicated helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities receive support with their tax affairs.
For those who are unable to pay due to coronavirus, HMRC will discuss your specific circumstances to explore:
- agreeing a time to pay arrangement
- suspending debt collection proceedings
- cancelling penalties and interest where you have administrative difficulties contacting or paying HMRC immediately
If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559. Opening hours are Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, and Saturday 8am to 4pm. The helpline will not be available on Bank Holidays.
£3,000 Cash Grant
Small business grant funding of £3,000 for all business in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) and Rural Rates Relief which will be delivered by local authorities. We are waiting on further details on this as this will affect a lot of our clients.
Support For Small Businesses Who Pay Business Rates
The business rates retail discount in England will temporarily be increased to 100% for 2020-21 for properties below £51,000 rateable value. Nearly half of all business properties will not pay a penny of business rates.
Small retail, hospitality and leisure businesses get a 100% discount for 2020/21 meaning they pay no business rates.
Any queries on eligibility and how to claim should be directed towards your local authority.
Don’t forget to check your insurance to see if you are covered for things such as business interruption.