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More about the Government response to the coronavirus

On the 20th March the chancellor announced an unprecedented level of financial assistance for businesses. (transcript here https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/the-chancellor-rishi-sunak-provides-an-updated-statement-on-coronavirus)

We would like to draw your attention to these measures in the event that they may help your business.

New Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme:

  • Covers any business, charity or non-profit organisation
  • Covers up to 80% of the salary (up to £2,500/month) of anyone not working (but retaining job) as a result of Covid-19
  • Wages back dated to 1 March 2020
  • Initial period of 3 months, but extended if necessary
  • No limit on funding
  • Will be in the form of a grant (not a loan)
  • Expect first to be paid within weeks, certainly by the end of April


Updates to Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan:

  • Max turnover from £45m
  • Loans up to £5m re-payable over 6 years.
  • Interest free period for 12 months
  • Loans will now be available starting on Monday 23 March 2020
  • Further details to be announced next week (w/c 23 March 2020) to ensure that larger and medium sized companies can also access the credit they need


Grants available for Hospitality & Leisure businesses.

  • A £25,000 grant will be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.
  • A £10,000 grant for businesses which qualify for small business rate relief.


Deferral of Tax and VAT Payments:

  • All UK VAT registered businesses can defer VAT payments due between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 until the end of the tax year
  • The Government has deferred the Income Tax Self Assessment payments for the self employed due on 31 July 2020 to 31 January 2021.


Rates Relief

  • Latest announcements allow for a 100% business rates discount for all retail, leisure and hospitality venues with no limit to Rateable Values.
  • A grant of £10,000 for businesses who do not pay business rates and qualify for small business rate relief.


Tax deferral (Time to Pay)

  • HMRC will allow you to defer any current tax/VAT payments due.


Statutory sick pay (SSP)

  • SSP is payable to qualifying employees and is now payable from day 1 for those who self isolate or are unwell because of COVID-19 (the first 3 days are normally unpaid). The current rate of SSP is £94.25 per week.
  • HM Treasury has announced that small and medium sized employers (those with fewer than 250 employees) may recover this cost where SSP has been paid as a result of COVID-19 from 13 March for a maximum of two weeks’ sickness per employee.


Extra support for the welfare system:

  • Increasing the Universal Credit standard allowance, for the next 12 months, by £1,000/year
  • Increasing the Working Tax Credit basic element, for the next 12 months, by £1,000/year
  • Suspending the minimum income floor for all self-employed affected by the economic impacts of coronavirus

Support for Self Employed:

This scheme will allow 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. This may be extended if needed. More information.