COVID-19 Advice for Businesses

COVID-19 Advice for Businesses


At LCP we are trying to provide assistance where possible to all small businesses so we have added this page with helpful links and advice.  We are trying to obtain the most recent advice from the government but the details are taking a while to be released and we will update this page regularly so please keep checking back. Please also visit https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/ for up to date information.

We have detailed below the information that we have on the government initiatives and we will update you as soon as we receive further details:


Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.

To access the scheme employers will need to:

  • designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change - changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation
  • submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required)
  •  

    HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.

    If your business needs short term cash flow support, you may be eligible for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan See below.


    Support for businesses through deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
    HMRC are deferring VAT payments for 3 months, the deferral will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020 and all businesses are eligible. This is an automatic process and you will have until the end of the 2020 to 2021 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. VAT refunds and reclaims will be paid by the government as normal. VAT Returns will still be due for submission.

    If you’re self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021. Again, this is an automatic process.
    HMRC have also scaled up their Time to Pay offer to all firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of Covid-19 and have outstanding tax liabilities.

    Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees
    Small and medium-sized businesses and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19.

  • this refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19
  • employers with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible - the size of an employer will be determined by the number of people they employed as of 28 February 2020
  • employers will be able to reclaim expenditure for any employee who has claimed SSP (according to the new eligibility criteria) as a result of COVID-19
  • employers should maintain records of staff absences and payments of SSP, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. If evidence is required by an employer, those with symptoms of coronavirus can get an isolation note from NHS 111 online and those who live with someone that has symptoms can get a note from the NHS website
  • eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of SSP to those staying at home comes into force
  • The government are working with employers to set up the repayment mechanism for employers as soon as possible


    Support for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses that pay business rates


    Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
    The government has introduced a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.
    Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.
    This scheme applies if:

  • your business is based in England
  • your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector
  • Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • for assembly and leisure
  • as hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

  • Local authorities will be in contact with you if this scheme applies to your business.

    Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses
    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.
    For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000, they will receive a grant of £10,000.
    For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000, they will receive a grant of £25,000.
    This scheme applies if:

  • your business is based in England
  • your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector
  • Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • for assembly and leisure
  • as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation
  • 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 the relevant local authority.

    Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates
    The government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.
    You are eligible if:

  • your business is based in England
  • you are a small business and already receive SBBR and/or RRR
  • you are a business that occupies property
  • You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.


    Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
    A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will launch early next week to support primarily small and medium-sized businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts.

    The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value.
    You are eligible for the scheme if:

  • your business is UK based, with turnover of no more than £45 million per year
  • your business meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria
  • https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/


    Self-employment Income Support Scheme
    The Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will support self-employed individuals (including members of partnerships) whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The scheme will provide a grant to self-employed individuals or partnerships, worth 80% of their profits up to a cap of £2,500 per 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.

    To be eligible for the scheme you must meet all the criteria below:

  • Be self-employed or a member of partnership;
  • Have lost trading/partnership trading profits due to COVID-19;
  • File a tax return for 2018-19 as self-employed or a member of a trading partnership. Those who have not yet filed for 2018-19 will have an additional 4 weeks from this announcement to do so;
  • Have traded in 2019-20; be currently trading at the point of application (or would be except for COVID 19) and intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
  • Have trading profits of less than £50,000 and more than half of your total income come from self-employment. This can be with reference to at least one of the following conditions:
  • Your trading profits and total income in 2018/19
  • Your average trading profits and total income across up to the three years between 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19.
  • 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 eligible individuals who have not submitted their returns for 2018-19, they will have 4 weeks notice from the date of the announcement to file their returns and therefore become eligible for this scheme.

    All the major banks will offer the Scheme once it has launched. There are 40 accredited providers in all.
    You should talk to your bank or finance provider (not the British Business Bank) as soon as possible and discuss your business plan with them. This will help your finance provider to act quickly once the Scheme has launched. If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow.
    The scheme will be available from week commencing 23 March.

    Support for businesses paying tax: Time to Pay service
    All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.
    These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.
    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.

    Insurance
    Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government-ordered closure should be covered, as the government and insurance industry confirmed on 17 March 2020 that advice to avoid pubs, theatres etc is sufficient to make a claim as long as all other terms and conditions are met.
    Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. Most businesses are unlikely to be covered, as standard business interruption insurance policies are dependent on damage to property and will exclude pandemics.


    Most importantly, follow the advice on social distancing and take care of yourselves and your families

     

    Contact us today!


    Tel: 01276 505780

    Email:

    LCP Accounting
    16A The Parade
    Yateley
    Hampshire
    GU46 7UN


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