Latest support for businesses during COVID-19

The Guild have rounded up a 2nd Fast Master Guide to Government help for small and medium businesses.

Business support COVID-19

Following on from our previous update on the support packages available to businesses, we are now updating that information. There are now a number of measures which are in place or will be in place soon. Follow this link for latest information for each area of support, what is available, when it is available, the criteria for each package and where and how to apply.

The latest areas the Government have announced support are:

Self-Employment income support scheme

All self-employed workers will be eligible for a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last three years; up to £2,500 a month

HMRC will use the average profits from tax returns in 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 to calculate the size of the grant. The scheme will be open to those where the majority of their income comes from self-employment and who have profits of less than £50,000. The scheme will be open for an initial three months with people able to make their first claim by the beginning of June.

Who can apply?

You can apply if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:

Have submitted your Income Tax Self-Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19

Traded in the tax year 2019-20

Are trading when you apply, or would be except for COVID-19

Intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020-21

Have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19

Individuals should not contact HMRC now. HMRC will use existing information to check potential eligibility and invite applications once the scheme is operational. HMRC will then pay the grant directly to eligible claimants’ bank account. HMRC is urgently working to deliver the scheme; grants are expected to start to be paid out by beginning of June 2020.

For the latest information check here


Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. A furloughed worker meaning an employee who has been asked to stop working as unable to work remotely. They are not made redundant.

HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. For up to date information check here.  

Deferring VAT and Income Tax payments

Inland Revenue will support businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months. If you’re self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.

This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period

Statutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs)

If you are paying sick pay to employees

You will be able to reclaim SSP due to COVID-19 for up to 2 weeks

You must maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, you won’t have to provide a GP fit note

Scheme will commence the day after the revised regulations come into force.

12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England

They will introduce a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. There is no action for you. This will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible. More details found here

The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.

Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of £15,000 and under will receive a grant of £10,000.

Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to your local authority.

Find your local authority

Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank

Since our last Guild update the Government has added some details to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) – announcing the accredited partners who will provide the finance. Importantly here are no lenders fees nor interest for the first 12 months, the scheme will not allow security on primary residential property, the Government are guaranteeing 80% of these loans so the banks can offer finance in situations when they normally wouldn’t. The key action is to read the information, decide what finance suits and make an application. 

There are 4 key finance options:

Term Loans
Asset Finance
Invoice Finance 
Revolving Credit

The choice of potential lender is wide, including the main banks you already know like HSBC, Nat West etc, however these are supplemented by other specialist lenders by region and lending type e.g. asset finance. 

Find an accredited finance provider here. 

If you have an existing banking relationship this should be your first choice, they will be closer to your business. As the banks are struggling with manpower the guidance suggests you apply online, or by phone. 

HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

All businesses and self-employed people may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service

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.

It is also worth considering speaking to your insurance provider. Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government-ordered closure should be covered, so speak to them first.

All the latest information can be found here    

We will keep you informed as developments happen. Be safe.

The Guild


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