UK Government Support for Businesses during COVID-19 crisis

The next few months to a year is going to be tough for a lot of people and a lot of businesses. Between businesses having to reduce or cease trading, to not getting customers due to them having less money themselves, the economy in the country is about to take a big kicking.

Over the last couple of weeks, the UK government have announced a number of measures to support UK businesses and the economy. They are yet to announce details for the self employed or very small owner managed businesses, but once they do, we will update it here.

Job Retention Scheme-If you would otherwise need to lay off workers (ie business not open, do not need as many as staff as normal trading conditions), the government have introduced a temporary scheme where they will reimburse 80% of the employees wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month, per employee. This scheme is initially for a 3 month period, but may be extended. Further detail will be made available in the coming weeks.

Tax Deadline Delays-There is a window from 20th March until 30th June where VAT payments due can be delayed until then, and you will have up to the end of the tax year to finish up payments due under this deferral. Personal tax payments on account which would normally be due 31st July have been moved back until 31st January 2021. They are also extending their time to pay department and if you think you may miss a payment of any of the UK Business taxes you can call 0800 0159 559.

Business Rate Holiday and Grant-The government have introduced a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. 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.

Statutory Sick Pay Rebates-The UK Government have announced they will reimburse up to 14 days SSP for employees who have been off work due to COVID-19. Employees have also been told they can access SSP from day 1 of sickness rather than day 4 as per normal guidance. This will most likely be done in the same way that statutory maternity pay is reimbursed, but the details have not yet been finalised. This support is available for all employers with less than 250 employees.

Business Loans-For small and medium sized businesses (turnover of up to £45 million a year), the UK government have agreed with the banks to act as guarantor for 80% of a short term business loan of up to £5 million in value (subject to lending criteria). They will also cover the first years interest payments on these loans, making them interest free for the business for that first year. The Bank of England is helping larger businesses buy buying debt that they are owed, like a large scale factoring service. You can find out more here

If you need any support, don’t hesitate to contact us to see what we can do.

More details about the various schemes and support is available here.

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