Covid-19:Emergency measures for individuals and businesses

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Covid-19:Emergency Measures For Individuals And Businesses
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Covid-19:Emergency measures for individuals and businesses

We are here to offer practical and professional advice and help you navigate the options available. Below are some highlights of Government support and how we believe we can help.

This is an unprecedented set of events we are facing, here some questions to ask yourselves:

  1. Is the business able to trade on a day to day basis without concerns?
  2. Do you have confidence that the business can return to these levels once we are through this situation?
  3. Is any decline in trade usual for this time of year or a sharp drop off i.e. the public advised to avoid pubs?
  4. Are your suppliers experiencing the same, what are their pressures?
  5. What is your cash position – how long will the available money last in terms of overheads – can I afford to pay the staff this month but not next?
  6. Are certain areas of the business more robust?
  7. Consider your staff options – do staff contracts allow for short or revised working terms, can you ask staff to use holiday, can they take unpaid holiday
  8. How will the government support help me through this process?
  9. What conversations should I be having NOW – staff, landlord, suppliers, HMRC, bank
  10. How long ahead should I plan?

Detail and keep a record of your decisions.

Loans and Bank Support

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
The government will launch the scheme next week to support businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts. Full terms to be advised but it is confirmed the CBILS scheme will offer interest holidays of 6 months. The Government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan. The Government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee and will support loans of up to £5m.

This new guarantee will initially support up to £330 billion of lending on top of current support offered through the British Business Bank.

Government backed loan How can we help
Any business needing cash to pay rent, salaries, suppliers, purchase stock, will be able to access a government-backed loan on “attractive terms” (which have not yet been specified).That support will be delivered via the new Business Interruption Loan Scheme – up to £5 million, with no interest first six months.
  • Prepare cash flow forecast with sensitivities
  • Liaise with Banks.
  • 6 months historic and 12 months future.
  • Actual and projected balance sheet.
  • Collate details of existing loans and securities
Further support from banks Please introduce us to your relevant  account manager and we will kick off the conversation straight away. Or we can introduce you to a bank we know.
1. Creating dedicated helplines
2. Offering repayment holidays to free up cash within businesses
3. Reviewing overdrafts or trade loans to allow stock to be held for longer

For more information click here

Staff Lay-off and short-time working provisions
Usual conditions apply at the moment click here to read more.

Self-employed or people earning below the Lower Earnings Limit of £118 per week

Can now more easily make a claim for Universal Credit or Contributory Employment and Support Allowance How can we help
Contributory Employment and Support Allowance will be payable, at a rate of £73.10 a week if you are over 25, for eligible people affected by COVID-19 or self-isolating in line with advice from Day 1 of sickness, rather than Day 8 Our payroll department can manage the process

For more information click here

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

The refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19 How can we help
Employers with fewer than 250 employees (to be determined with reference to number employed as of 28 February 2020) will be eligible Our payroll department can manage the process
Employers should maintain records of staff absences, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note
Temporarily, the employers (company) can pay the SSP to the director/ directors from the day they have to go to self-isolate themselves.
The eligible period for the scheme will commence from the day on which the regulations extending SSP to self-isolators come into force
While existing systems are not designed to facilitate such employer refunds for SSP, the government will work with employers over the coming months

VAT and PAYE

SME businesses have started getting support to delay payment of their VAT and PAYE liabilities.

Information needed How we can help
Your reference (10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference or VAT reference number) We will contact HMRC on your behalf.  Possible solutions: Agreeing an instalment arrangement/deferment

Suspending debt collection proceedings. Cancelling penalties and interest.

The amount of the tax bill you’re finding it difficult to pay and the reasons why
What you’ve done to try to get the money to pay the bill
How much you can pay immediately and how long you may need to pay the rest
Your bank account details

For more information click here

Grants and support for business rates

New changes to business rates relief designed to support businesses dealing with hardship and disruption. Those claiming Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR) may now be eligible for a £25,000 grant.

Key relief areas in England (slight differences for rest of UK) Criteria Relief How can we help
Small Business Rate Relief (retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises) Properties with a Rateable Value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 Small Businesses eligible for 100% relief under SBBR will be eligible
for a £25,000 cash grant.
We can contact your local authority on your behalf
Charitable Rate Relief Eligible charities and community amateur sports clubs may apply for relief of up to 80% We can apply for you.
Small Business Rate Relief Properties with a Rateable Value of less than £51,000, only occupying one property Grants of £10,000 to small businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (up from £3,000) At the moment advice is that you will be contacted by your local authority, they will not take calls, this may change.
Rural Rate Relief Properties in eligible areas (population less than 3,000) that are the only village shop or post office with a Rateable Value of less than £8,500; or the only pub or petrol station with Rateable Value of less than £12,500
Retail Discount (Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses) (Note 1) 100% discount for one year beginning April 1 2020 (applied to all rateable values) Not required
Hardship Relief Ratepayers experiencing financial difficulties may apply to their local authority for hardship relief which may grant a discount or exemption to the ratepayer at their discretion.

For more information click here: http://bit.ly/392hAuI or http://bit.ly/2UjTXsb

Insurance

  1. Businesses should check if they are covered for business interruption. Most are unlikely to be covered as insurance policies are dependent on damage to property, excluding pandemics.
  2. Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government-ordered closure should be covered, as the government and insurance industry confirmed on 17 March 2020 that advice to avoid pubs, theatres etc is sufficient to make a claim

For more information click here

IR35

  1. Reforms to the off payroll working rules, IR35, postponed from 6 April 2020 to 6 April 2021

Mortgages

Mortgage lenders have agreed they will support customers through payment holiday of up to 3 months. How we can help
Many banks providing further support on mortgages through reduced or deferred payments, longer term support extending term of their mortgage, switching part/all to interest-only mortgage arrangements We can assist in liaising with your bank

 

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, expects to provide further proposals next week to help those unable to work due to coronavirus. In some other countries, such support has included the government paying a large proportion (sometimes over 75%) of the person’s normal salary or self-employed earnings for several weeks. We await to see if the UK will go down a similar route.

We are here to help support you through this process and to getting you the right advice.