DON’T PANIC OR ACT IN HASTE.
I understand what a difficult time this is but our message to you is do not panic. Please stand back a little and take time to develop an action plan to see your business through this period. We will help you with this in any way we can.
These are the Government support schemes that have been announced already:
- Corona Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBIL)– An 80% Government guaranteed loan, interest free for 12 months.
- Furloughing Employees – HMRC will reimburse 80% of employee costs up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
- Time To Pay (TTP)– HMRC have a dedicated helpline (0800 0159 559) to assist businesses and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of COVID-19 and have outstanding tax liabilities.
- VAT Deferment– Businesses have the option to defer VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 and will have until 31 March 2021 to pay any amounts deferred.
- Self-employed Support– Self-employed workers could be entitled to a grant of 80% of trading profits (up to a maximum of £2,500 per month) for the next three months.
- Business Rates Holiday– Businesses who operate in retail, hospitality, leisure and nurseries have been given a 12 month business rates holiday for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.
- Small Business Grant– Businesses who receive small business rate relief or rural rate relief are entitled to a grant of £10,000.
- Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant– businesses operating in these sectors are entitled to grant funding of £25,000 if they are operating from a property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.
- Universal Credit– these are Government payments used to assist with living costs. The amount that can be claimed differs with each individuals’ circumstances. For further information we recommend visiting https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit.
- Statutory Sick Pay Relief– Small and medium sized businesses can reclaim SSP paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19. The refund will cover 2 weeks SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19.
If you wish to discuss eligibility or find out further information on any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact us. At the moment the business rates holiday, small business grants and retail, hospitality and leisure grants seem to be working reasonably well and I can report that a number of clients have been contacted by their Local Authority and some have received funds.
I can also report positively on the Time To Pay helpline which although very busy, Clients are reporting that the Revenue are being very helpful.
Now for the bad news. . .
Corona Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBIL)
It is already becoming clear to us that this scheme is not working as the Government intended for a number of reasons:
- Banks do not appear to be differentiating between solid businesses pre-COVID-19 and their current financial state.
- Banks appear to be looking after their own ‘good’ businesses first.
- Most Banks are seeking security (including personal guarantees) for the whole loan amount which is causing complications and added pressure is building on the Government in respect of this.
The consensus is that this scheme is not fit for purpose in its current form, so it is highly speculated that the scheme is soon to be changed.
This scheme is also running into difficulties with the latest advice being that payments will not be made to employers until the end of May.
However, we understand that Banks are providing businesses with overdrafts to see them through this initial furlough period.
Remember, you do not have to battle this on your own! We are here to help!
Call us on 01384 376964 for more help.