Corona Virus Government Support For Business, Self-employed & Employees
All of us have been affected in some way by the spread of the coronavirus and the Covid-19 outbreak. It is obviously a challenging time, and although the outcome is unclear, I would like to assure you that we are committed to delivering our fashion business support services and helping as many people as possible. This is the time to share, collaborate and support each other as best we can.
The Chancellor has announced a very significant package of financial support available to businesses to help limit the impact of the Covid-19 virus on business & employees.
Self-Employed Income Support Scheme
Key details of the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme are as follows:
A taxable grant of 80% of average weekly profits (calculated over the last three years) up to a maximum of £2,500 a month
To be eligible you must:
Have trading profits of no more than £50,000 a year
The majority of your income must come from self-employed work
Have filed a tax return for 2018/19
The scheme will pay the grant directly to the bank accounts of those eligible for the support. The scheme will run for an initial three months.
HMRC is building the mechanism by which the grants will be paid. It is expected that the grants will start to be paid in June.
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for Employees
HMRC will provide grants to cover 80% of the costs of employees who are not working due to coronavirus shutdowns but who have not been laid off. The scheme will cover up to £2,500 per month for each eligible employee. The scheme will run for an initial 3 months, backdated to 1st March 2020. The application process is being established now and it is anticipated that the grants will start to be paid by the end of April at the latest.
Extension to deadlines for filing Annual Accounts
From 25 March 2020 businesses can apply for a 3-month extension for filing their accounts to allow for the prioritisation of managing the impact of Coronavirus.
Companies will have to apply for the 3-month extension but those citing issues around COVID-19 will be automatically and immediately granted an extension. Applications can be made through a fast-tracked online system which will take just 15 minutes to complete. Click here
The Chancellor has deferred the next quarter of VAT payments so no business will pay VAT until the end of June and businesses will have until the end of the financial year to make these payments.
The government has suspended the minimum income floor meaning that the self-employed will be able to access Universal Credit in full, at the same level as Statutory Sick Pay for employees. The government has also deferred the payment of the next self-assessment payment until January 2021.
Support for Smaller Businesses
You will have seen that the Chancellor has announced that the British Business Bank will manage the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) which will become available in the week commencing 23 March 2020. It will be delivered through a range of over 40 accredited lenders and offer attractive terms for both businesses applying for new facilities and lenders, with the aim of supporting the continued provision of finance to UK businesses experiencing increa
The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed guarantee against the outstanding facility balance, potentially enabling a ‘no’ credit decision from a lender to become a ‘yes’. The Government will cover the first six months of interest payments and any facility arrangement fees charged by lenders, so businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.
The maximum value of a facility provided under the scheme will be £5m. Note that the borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt. To find out more about the CBILS , please go to: www.british-business-bank.
In addition to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme the government has announced a series of other measures to help businesses. For more information please visit the government’s Covid-19 business support website here.
For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of Statutory Sick Pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full. Details on how this scheme will work are due to be published shortly. We will send the information as soon as it becomes available.
A dedicated Government helpline has been set up to help businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress and with outstanding tax liabilities. Through this, businesses may be able to agree a bespoke Time to Pay arrangement. If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559 you can Find all the information here.
There will be a £10,000 cash grant to the smallest businesses, delivered by local authorities. Small businesses that pay little or no business rates and are eligible for small business rate relief (SBBR) or rural rate relief will be contacted by their local authority – they do not need to apply. The funding will be provided to local authorities in early April. Guidance for local authorities on the scheme will be provided shortly.
A £25,000 grant will also be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.
Finally, the government is introducing a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. For 2020/21 only, certain businesses will receive a 100% discount on business rates. Each local authority will adopt and publish its own scheme and then central Government will reimburse local government. For the fashion and textile sector properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied premises that are wholly or mainly being used as shops.
The Government consider shops to mean: Premises that are being used for the sale of goods to visiting members of the public: This includes the following examples: Shops, Charity shops, Furnishing shops and Dry cleaners. In addition, some members may also qualify for the relief if their premises operate as a tourist attraction and if it operates a café/coffee shop. To qualify for the relief, the premises should be wholly or mainly being used for the above qualifying purposes.
The Government is also scaling up the Business Support Helpline so businesses in England, of all sizes, can pick up the phone and speak directly to an advisor (Devolved Administrations have their own equivalent services in place). The number to call is: 0300 456 3565
DIT support for UK businesses trading internationally
The advice for UK businesses that export or deliver goods and services abroad and have been impacted by the spread of COVID-19 has been updated.
Government launches Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp
The UK Government has launched a GOV.UK Coronavirus Information service on WhatsApp. The new free to use service aims to provide official, trustworthy and timely information and advice. To use the free GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp, simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started. Further information can be found here.
We will update this page as new information is shared.