24 Mar 2020
COVID-19 – Govt. financial support for businesses
Following the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), here’s a summary of the government financial support available for businesses:
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – all UK businesses are eligible – accessible through new HMRC online portal (being developed).
Deferring VAT and Income Tax payments – all UK businesses are eligible – deferral applies from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020 and it is automatic offer with no application required.
Statutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) – eligible if your business is UK based; your business employs fewer than 250 employees as at 28.02.20 – a rebate scheme is being developed.
A 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England –eligible if your business is based in England; is in retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector – no action by you required, it will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, the local authorities may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate change. This will be done as soon as possible.
Small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief – eligible if your business is based in England; is in retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector – no action required by you. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.
Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000 – eligible if your business is based in England; is in retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector – no action required by you. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank – eligible if your business is UK based, with turnover of no more than £45m pa; your business meets the other British Business Bank eligibility criteria – applications now open, talk to your bank or one of the 40 accredited finance providers asap to discuss your business plan. All major banks are offering this scheme. If you have an existing loan with monthly repayments you may want to ask for a repayment holiday to help with cash flow.
A new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans – all non-financial companies that meet the criteria set out on the Bank of England’s website are eligible. https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/news/2020/march/the-covid-corporate-financing-facility
The HMRC Time To Pay Scheme – eligible if your business pays tax to the UK government; has outstanding tax liaibilities. If you have missed a tax payment or might miss your next payment due to COVID-19 please call the HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559.
3-month extension period to file accounts with Companies House
companies will still have to apply for the 3-month extension to be granted, those citing issues around COVID-19 will be automatically and immediately granted extension. Applications can be made through a fast-tracked online system which will take just 15 minutes to complete. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-more-time-to-file-your-companys-accounts
Self-employed income support scheme
eligible if you are self-employed or a member of a partnership and have lost income due to coronavirus. This scheme allows you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme
Full details of the government’s support for business can be found atBack