Coronavirus / COVID-19 - Help for UK Businesses
It's simply not possible to sugar coat the negative impact the coronavirus emergency will have on businesses across the world.
In the UK, the government announced a number of schemes to support businesses throughout the crisis and we have reviewed the applicability of each scheme to our business. We will leverage several, some will kick in immediately, others require a process to be followed.
We recommend you explore all of the options available and have provided links to useful information plus some additional tips which we hope you will find helpful.
Job Retention Scheme:
The Government has proposed a Job Retention Scheme whereby they will pay up to 80% of an employee’s wages, capped at £2,500, per month. Employees assigned to this scheme will be categorised as “furloughed workers” until they are removed from the scheme. Registrations can be applied from 1st March.
The Government anticipates coronavirus restrictions will disrupt social movement for a minimum of 12 weeks (June 2020). While we all hope some of the restrictions will be relaxed sooner than this, we must be prepared for the worst-case scenario and that includes preparing for a slow recovery of your client’s business operations and finances.
Applicable from 20 March – 30 June. All businesses are eligible. No application required. Prepare and submit your VAT return as normal but make no payment.
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP):
Applicable from day 1 of COVID-19 isolation/sickness from 28 February. SSP will cover up to 2 weeks per eligible employee. Employees can obtain an Isolation Note via NHS 111 Online for themselves or the relevant household member. A rebate scheme will be provided once legislation is passed on Thursday 26 March 2020.
Small Business Rates Holidays / Grants:
If your business already receives relief on business rates, you are likely to be eligible for £10,000 grant, or for certain types of businesses, a business rates holiday.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS):
Launched 23 March 2020. Interest free for first 12 months. Government will guarantee 80% of each loan. Must apply through a participating bank / finance provider. You will need to prepare a business plan to support your application in the same way you would apply for a commercial loan.
HMRC Time to Pay:
Applicable for all outstanding tax liabilities, assessed on a case-by-case basis. For example, if you are about to submit your CIS, which can be a significant sum. call the HMRC helpline to discuss your options for payment deferral.
Link to details on each scheme GOV.UK COVID-19: Support for Businesses
Finally, we cannot stress enough the importance of every single person adhering to Government rules on Lockdown. We have seen in the news and in our local areas many people ignoring the guidance on social distancing which has resulted in more stringent measures being put in place.
Our message is simple: every day the rules are breached is another delay to economic and business recovery, the longer the delay the greater the impact.
We implore you, your family and your friends to take the coronavirus spread prevention measures seriously and help to minimise the lockdown period.