COVID 19 – October Update

So last week we did a little message on our various social media accounts (Facebook, twitter & Instagram for those not following us) just giving a heads up that this weeks blog would be a copy of our analysis on the latest government support for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, I am going to back track a little! Let me explain….

So in the past week we’ve had a lot of feedback from our clients who we’ve emailed our advice out to, thankfully all positive! Everyone has found our analysis very useful as it’s allowed them to carry on running their business and have it all summarised by someone who knows what is relevant to them, a lot easier to read than sifting through the various statements that we did (Ok, another honesty moment, it was mainly Martin!). We covered the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), Bounce Back Loans, VAT & Personal Tax payments.

But, we’ve decided to not just pop it on our blog, as we’d like to know who else finds it useful, so would like to know who else is reading it, so if you’d like a copy just send us an e-mail and we’ll send you a copy across.

COVID-19 – Small Business Grant Scheme

Many small businesses are under the impression they need to be paying rates to received this grant – the opposite is actually true! 
 
The Small Business Grant Scheme is for businesses who pay little or no rates due to them being in receipt of either SBRR (small business rate relief) or RRR (rural rate relief). There is a government help page here that tells you the official wording.
 
Being a rate payer just means that you or your company are registered for business rates – you don’t actually have to pay anything! So if you get Small Business Rates Relief in full or partially, if you pay some rates or none at all, this grant is for you! It’s all done by your local council via their rates records to ensure only the right people receive it, it’s designed to help you cover rent and premises expenses during this uncertain period.
 
So in short, if you have a rate demand for your premises (even if it is credited in full for rates relief) you can definitely apply!
 
Most councils have online forms to complete, others are sending application forms via post, a few of the one’s we know are relevant to our clients are below:
 
 
 
At time of writing, Chelmsford are aiming to have their online form up by the end of 3rd April, Castle Point haven’t indicated any dates as to when their application system will be ready and Braintree were saying they will post applications forms which can be scanned and e-mailed back to them.
 
Please note this information is correct as of 2nd April.

COVID-19 – Self Employed Help

You may be here looking for our advice to the self employed following the announcements made by the government, but we’re not actually going to do a blog about it.

Why?

Because we feel the advice needs to be interpreted for everyone, we’ve already been in touch with all of our self employed clients to tell them what help is available for them and will of course update them if the situation changes, that’s not to say we’ll only advise our existing clients but we don’t want to add to the vague advice and opinions floating around, if you’ve any specific questions about how the help for self employed will affect you please do get in touch!

COVID-19 Help

We’re doing our best to digest the information coming from the government and advise what it means for everyone, we’re doing regular e-mails for all of our clients but we’re repeating that information here for all.

We’ll be putting that disclaimer at the start of each of our posts, along with the date that the information was correct as of so you know how old the information is. 

We’ve added a new menu item on the left to keep all the information in one place for you, check there for any updates.

As this is an ever changing situation please do get in touch with us, we are extremely busy helping people at the moment but will do our best to help as quick as we can.

COVID-19 – Government Assistance Update

We’re doing our best to digest the information coming from the government and advise what it means for everyone, we’re doing regular e-mails for all of our clients but we’re repeating that information here for all. Please note this information is correct as 21st March 2020.

Further to our previous blog, further assistance for businesses has been announced by the government during the week.
 
The headlines are as follows:
 
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
The detailed terms and conditions for this loan will be released on Monday 23rd March. 
 
It was announced this evening that these loans would be interest free for 12 months.
 
The loans we be accessed via banks rather than HMRC. We are happy to assist with the loan application.
 
Small Business Grant
A £10,000 grant will be available to small businesses who let premises with a rateable value that falls under the Small Business Rates Relief (usually £15,000).
 
A £25,000 grant will be available to small businesses in the hospitality, leisure and retail sectors who let premises with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000
 
These funds will be provided by the local authority in which the premises are situated.
 
The local authority will contact your business during April with details of the grant and how to access this. To ensure more straightforward access to these funds you should ensure that your business is properly registered as the tenant at the premises which you are letting. We are happy to discuss this with you further.
 
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
We await detailed guidance next week to confirm the following information which was announced this evening:
 
If businesses cannot afford employees as a result of COVID19, from the 1st March 2020 to the 31st May 2020 the government will pay 80% of employee wages up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee.
 
These funds will be obtained via a grant from HMRC before the end of April.
 
This grant could be extended to wages payments beyond the 31st May 2020.
 
VAT Payment Deferral
We await detailed guidance next week to confirm the following information which was announced this evening:
 
The next quarter of VAT payments will be deferred.
 
No business will pay any VAT from now until the end of June.
 
The exact definitions here will be clarified next week when additional information becomes available.
 
Self Assessment Payment Deferral
We await detailed guidance next week to confirm the following information which was announced this evening:
 
The 31st July 2020 payment on account of income tax for the self employed will be deferred until the 31st January 2021.
 
At this point, the deferral of payment does not appear to relate to directors / owners of limited companies.
 
Self Employed
Those who are self employed, with reduced income as a result of COVID19, will benefit from increased levels of available Universal Credit.
 
If you are concerned by your business survival and personal finances please do not hesitate to contact either myself or Martin to discuss this further. We have already discussed business finance survival strategies with various clients and would like to offer this help to everyone who requires it. Please do not hesitate to contact either of us should you need to.
 
Rebecca and Martin

COVID-19 – Funding & Tax

We’re doing our best to digest the information coming from the government and advise what it means for everyone, we’re doing regular e-mails for all of our clients but we’re repeating that information here for all. Please note this information is correct as of 17th March.

We are aware that many of our clients business’ could be affected by COVID-19, ranging from a direct loss of work, to cash flow problems, staff absence, etc

We’ve had some clients contact us regarding what financial help might be available to them, especially following last week’s budget. 

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
At present, the terms and conditions of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) have not been finalised by the government. Updates on the availability of this funding can be found via the following link:

https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/supporting-business-loans-enterprise-finance-guarantee/

Small Business Grant
In addition there is no update from the government on the £3,000 grant available to small businesses who let premises with a rateable value of less than £12,000.

When the CBILS and grant funds become available we can discuss your requirements and assist you and your business with the application for these funds.

Tax helpline for businesses affected by COVID-19
HMRC have set up a helpline for businesses and the self employed who are concerned by / cannot pay their tax liabilities as a result of COVID-19. Further details can be found via the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/tax-helpline-to-support-businesses-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19

Due to this government initiative being in the early stages, it’s unclear at this point what HMRC will be able to offer to you in respect of setting up an instalment arrangement or the suspension of debt collection proceedings. We are happy to discuss this and the potential merits of your case.

We will continue to provide key updates as they happen. Should you wish to discuss any of the above please do not hesitate to contact either of us. 

Rebecca & Martin