Government Help for Businesses
The government announced the ways in which it will be helping businesses over this year, these are some of the measures:
Firms with less than 250 staff members can reclaim SSP (Statuary Sick Pay) payments for up to two weeks.
If your company has 250 members of staff or less, the government are bringing forward legislation to allow small and medium size businesses and employers to relaim any SSP paid due to COVID-19. Employers should maintain records of staff absences, but employees will not need to provide a GP fit note. The government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism as soon as possible. More information here.
Business Rates Holiday
The government will increase the Business Rates retail discount to 100% for one year and expand it to the leisure and hospitality sectors, and increase the planned rates discount for pubs to £5,000. Taken together with existing small business rate relief, an 45% of all properties in England, will receive 100% business rates relief in 2020 to 2021 More information here
Small firms will be able to access 'business interruption' loans of up to £1.2 million
A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will launch in a matter of weeks to support businesses in accessing bank lending and overdrafts. The government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £1.2 million in value. More information here.
HMRC's Time to Pay
All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service. These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities. These businesses can contact HMRC’s new dedicated HMRC Coronavirus Helpline 0800 015 9559 . You can read more about Time to Pay here.