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We thought we would try put in one place as much information as we can in regards to the various schemes available to businesses with links to the Government Websites for further information.


As I am sure you appreciate, things are constantly changing so this is what is available as of 11th May 2020. We will keep you informed of any changes.


Grants.

There are two grant funding schemes available, the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, these are issued by your Local Council.

Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.

There are two grant funding schemes available, the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, these are issued by your Local Council.


Under the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) all eligible businesses in England in receipt of either Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) or Rural Rates Relief (RRR) in the business rates system will be eligible for a payment of £10,000.


Under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG) eligible businesses in England in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for a cash grants of £10,000 or £25,000 per property.


Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to and including £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.


Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.


Businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 or over are not eligible for this scheme. Businesses which are not ratepayers in the business rates system are not included in this scheme.


For further details on eligibility use the link below, please look at your Local Authorities website for details on Coronavirus support as well.


CHECK YOUR ELIGIBILITY >>

Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund.

On 1st May they announced the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund, this is support aimed at small businesses who were not eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund or the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Fund. Local authorities may disburse grants to the value of £25,000, £10,000 or any amount under £10,000. The value of the payment to be made to a business is at the discretion of the local authority.


Grants under the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund are capped at £25,000.


The next level payment under the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund is £10,000.


In taking decisions on the appropriate level of grant, local authorities may want to take into account the level of fixed costs faced by the business in question, the number of employees, whether businesses have had to close completely and are unable to trade online and the consequent scale of impact of COVID-19 losses.


Local authorities are yet to announce how to apply for the funding, but we update you once we know more


GRANT FUNDING SCHEMES >>

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough).


'Furloughing' is an alternative to laying people off, it means employees can be kept on the payroll instead of dismissing them as redundant or laying them off without pay.


Employers must designate affected employees as 'furloughed workers' and notify the employees of this change (where possible we would recommend seeking the advice from a HR Consultant as Employment Law is still applicable in regards to things such as Benefits In Kind, Car Allowance and Holidays).


Employers may claim a grant of up to 80% of the salaries of employees, subject to a cap of £2,500 plus Employers NI and the minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage. The employer has the option to top up the salaries to 100%.


Directors can be included in the Job Retention Scheme but can only claim 80% of their monthly salary. Please note that dividends are excluded from the calculations.


The scheme runs from 1st March 2020 to 31st October 2020, the scheme will change after 31st July 2020 and we will update you once we know more details.


Only employees on the PAYE payroll as at 19th March 2020, who were notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 19th March (prior to 15th April this date was 28 February 2020), can be furloughed.


Workers cannot undertake work for the company whilst furloughed. They may undertake training.

Staff have to be furloughed for a minimum of three weeks.


The portal for making claims was opened on the 20th April.


The scheme pays a grant, not a loan, to the employer and this is treated as taxable income.

JOB RETENTION SCHEME >>

SSP

Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme.


The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the Statutory Sick Pay paid to current or former employees.
The repayment will cover up to 2 weeks starting from the first day of qualifying sickness, if an employee is unable to work because they either:

  • have coronavirus symptoms
  • cannot work because they are self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms

You can claim for periods of sickness starting on or after:
13 March 2020 - if your employee had coronavirus or the symptoms or is self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms.
16 April 2020 - if your employee was shielding because of coronavirus.
The weekly rate was £94.25 before 6 April 2020 and is now £95.85. If you’re an employer who pays more than the weekly rate of Statutory Sick Pay you can only claim up to the weekly rate paid.
Employees do not have to give you a doctor’s fit note for you to make a claim. But you can ask them to give you: an isolation note from NHS 111 - if they are self-isolating and cannot work because of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The online service you’ll use to reclaim SSP in not available yet. HMRC will announce when the service is available.

Payrolls.

Payrolls need to be run on the usual pay dates and PAYE/NI payments are due by the normal deadlines, as companies have received the Gross Pay for the employers this should be paid where possible.


Regarding Pension Duties, the automatic enrolment duties continue to apply as normal, including your re-enrolment and re-declaration duties. This is the case whether your staff are still working or are being furloughed. Pension Contributions are expected to be paid at the usual time as this is also included within the Job Retention Claim, below is a link to the Pensions Regulator with guidance on Automatic enrolment duties.

PENSIONS INFORMATION >>

VAT and Self Assessment Payment Deferral.

VAT payments due before 30th June 2020 so not need to be made until 31st March 2021.


Self Assessment payments on account due on 31st July 2020 will now not need to be made until 31st January 2021.


No application is required, but direct debit mandates need to be cancelled.


Returns should still be filed on time.


No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period.

Bounce Back Loans.

The Government has announced the Bounce Back Loans Scheme for small businesses, including Sole Traders, these are 100% government backed and with no personal guarantees and with an interest rate of 2.5% and a loan term of up to 6 years.


You can borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 up to 25% of a business’s turnover.


The process is supposed to be much easier than the CBILS (Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes) and straight forward.


We know not everyone wants to get into any form of debt but you need to look at your cashflow, your current income and your projections for the next few months and how quickly you feel you are going to be able to get back up and generating an income, different industries are going to take longer to bounce back than others – so much is still unknown at this point!


These are aimed at small businesses, so carefully assess cashflow as you might find you need the CBILS not the BBL loan and you cannot take out both loans.


If you take out the loan and don’t use it you can pay it all back and there aren’t any early repayment charges.

BRITISH BUSINESS BANK INFO >>
GOVERNMENT BOUNCE BACK LOAN >>

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

This scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to access loans up to £5 million. The government guarantees 80% of the finance to the lender and pays interest and any fees for the first 12 months.


Eligibility

You can apply for a loan if your business:-

  • is based in the UK
  • has an annual turnover of up to £45 million

You need to show that your business:-

  • would be viable were it not for the pandemic
  • has been adversely impacted by the coronavirus

If you want to borrow £30,000 or more, you also need to confirm that your business wasn’t classed as a business in difficulty on 31 December 2019.


Businesses from any sector can apply, except:

  • banks, insurers and reinsurers (but not insurance brokers)
  • public-sector bodies
  • state-funded primary and secondary schools
GOVERNMENT INTERRUPTION LOAN SCHEME >>
BRITISH BUSINESS BANK INFO >>

Below is a link to an excellent section for Business Support, it has linked to the above pages but all useful guidance on your responsibilities as an employer and how to run your business safely.

BUSINESS SUPPORT >>

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

If you are self-employed or a member of a partnership and have lost income due to coronavirus and have trading profits of £50,000 and these profits must make up more than half of your total income the scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.


Your trading profits are averaged over the last 3 tax years from 2016 to 2019.


You can claim if:

  • you traded in the tax year 2018 to 2019 and submitted your Self Assessment tax return on or before 23 April 2020 for that year
  • you traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020
  • you intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
  • you carry on a trade which has been adversely affected by coronavirus.

If you are eligible to make a claim you will need:-

  • Self Assessment UTR Number
  • National Insurance Number
  • Government Gateway user ID and password (if you do not have one you can create one HERE
  • Bank account number and sort code


You have to confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus.


You must keep details of the amount claimed, the claim reference number and evidence that your business has been adversely affected.


You will need to report the grant on your Self Assessment Tax Return (it is subject to Tax and National Insurance), as Self-Employed income for any Universal Credit claims or Tax Credit Claims.


Below is the link to see if you can claim for grant through the scheme


CHECK IF YOU CAN CLAIM >>