The Chancellor set out a package to support businesses through the disruption caused by COVID-19. The current package includes:
- a statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs
- a 12 month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
- small business grants of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
- grant funding of up to £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
- the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support long-term viable businesses who may need additional finance
- the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme
This is a central Government package but we will administer the business rates and grant funding elements.
Business rate relief
We are working to identify businesses that will qualify for the additional business rate relief announced by Government. We will be contacting eligible businesses to notify you of the relief and revised business rate bills will be issued as fast as possible.
Cash grants to businesses due to coronavirus outbreak
Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors
The government announced cash grants of up to £25,000 for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.
- For businesses that were actively trading and occupying properties with rateable values of £15,000 or less the grant is expected to be £10,000
- For businesses that were actively trading and occupying properties with rateable values between £15,000 and £51,000 the grant is expected to be £25,000
Businesses in any sector receiving the small business rate relief
Businesses in receipt of small business rate relief on 11 March 2020 will receive a grant of £10,000. There are some exceptions.
- Properties which are occupied for personal use, e.g. private stables, beach huts and moorings will not qualify for a cash grant even if they are in receipt of relief
- Properties where the liability is calculated using the small business multiplier but not in receipt of small business rate relief will not qualify for the grant.
The Government will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud – and any business caught falsifying their records to gain additional grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to clawback.
Workers' Support Package
The Government has announced a Workers' Support Package to ensure staff are still paid during the COVID-19 crisis:
- Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which will pay 80% of workers' wages up to £2,500 per month
- VAT payments due between now and the end of June will be deferred
- Income tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021
- The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, launched at Budget, will now be interest free for twelve months.
Guidance for Employers
Employers will be able to use a portal to claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ (employees on a leave of absence) monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage. We expect the scheme to be up and running by the end of April.
Guidance for Employees
Guidance to support workers understand whether they are eligible for the scheme, and how much the employer can claim if they are unable to operate or if there is no work due to coronavirus (COVID 19).
Support for the self-employed
The Chancellor has just announced the Self-employed Income Support Scheme. This will be a grant worth 80% of the person's monthly profits over the last three years, up to £2,500 a month. To be eligible for the scheme, the person:
- must earn the majority of income from self-employment
- must earn a maximum of £50,000 per year averaged over the last three years
- must have a tax return for 2019
People that have only been trading for one or two years will still be eligible. There will be an extra four weeks grace for those who have not yet submitted their 2019 tax return so they can be included in the scheme.
The scheme will be administered by HMRC and it is hoped it will be up and running in June. People do not need to contact HMRC now; if they are eligible HMRC will contact them directly.
For more information: Self-employed Income Support Scheme
The following businesses and venues have been asked to close with immediate effect:
- food and drink venues for consumption on-site, such as restaurants and cafes
- drinking establishments, including pubs, bars and nightclubs
- entertainment venues, including cinemas, theatres, concert halls, and bingo halls
- museums and galleries.
- spas, wellness centres and massage parlours
- casinos and betting shops
- all indoor leisure and sports facilities, including gyms
- Hairdressers, barbers, beauty and nail salons, including piercing and tattoo parlours