The Government has announced a raft of different measures to help businesses financially during the Covid-19 crisis. The main measures are set out below, along with links to where you can find out more.
Businesses with premises
A one-off grant of £10,000 is on offer to help small businesses meet their ongoing business costs.
This applies to UK-based businesses with property which are receiving small business rate relief or rural rate relief as of 11 March. Businesses that qualify will receive a letter from their local authority in due course.
Business rates holiday
This applies to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.
The Government has advised that you need take no action if this applies to your business.
Businesses Employing Staff on PAYE
To safeguard workers from redundancy, the Government has introduced a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. It’s open to all UK employers with a PAYE scheme and will help them to continue paying part of their employees’ salary if they would otherwise have been laid off.
How to claim
Deferring VAT and income tax
VAT payments can be deferred for three months for UK VAT registered businesses which have a VAT payment due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020.
Find out how
Income Tax Self-Assessment payments due on the 31 July 2020 may be deferred until 31 January 2021. The deferment is optional. You need take no action now if you decide you need to defer.
Find our more
Although announced later, there are now plans to help the self-employed, too. If eligible, you will be able to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 each month for the next three months. To qualify you have to have submitted a tax return for 2018/19, traded during 2019/20 and your trading profits must be less than £50,000 a year. If you are yet to submit your tax return for 2018/19 and hope to benefit from this scheme you have until 23 April to do it - so the pressure is on.
More information and even more information
Business Interruption Loans
These loans offer finance to SMEs which may suffer late or lost payments due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Eligible businesses will be UK based, with turnover of no more than £45 million per year.
The scheme is on offer from all major banks and is open for applications.
Directors of Limited Companies
Directors of limited companies are not eligible for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) as they are technically employees of their company. Initially whether this group of people would get support or not was a grey area, but it now seems that they will be able to be furloughed and claim support as an employee. For full details check out this Enterprise Nation Guide.
Schemes to help your personal finances
Some financial help is available for individuals too, whether it be in the form of mortgage holidays, an ease on overdraft rules or penalty-free access to savings. There is no blanket rule as to what is being offered, with each lender taking its own stance. Money Saving Expert has produced a comprehensive guide to who is offering what.
How can I find out more?
With reams of fake COVID-19 news circulating the internet it can be hard to know where to turn for advice on what this all means for your business.
The best first port of call for up to the minute information on what help is on offer and how to access it is a dedicated COVID-19 area has been set up on the government website and there is detailed information about each of the help schemes available.
Enterprise Nation has some fantastic resources available and help for small businesses setting out each of the schemes in easy to understand language.
Money Saving Expert is also a good source of easy to understand information. Again, look for the dedicated COVID-19 area on the site.
The frustrating part for many is that much of the detail of these schemes is still unclear and the help packages are yet to kick in.
Rest assured SBG will be on hand to bring you all the latest information for small businesses as and when it happens. Like us on Facebook and Twitter today, to help keep in touch