4) Financial Support: Businesses, The Self-Employed and Individuals

4.1 I Am A Small or Medium Size Business Owner In Fareham. What Support Is There For Me?

 

ATTENTION: I have set out some information but for the most up to date and detailed information see: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/

 

1. Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme: This scheme will help businesses affected by coronavirus to access bank lending and overdrafts if they need to. For loans up to £5 million, the Government is providing a guarantee of 80% for each loan. This will give lenders the confidence to continue to provide finance to businesses. The Government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee.

 

2. Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure: Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year. Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019-20 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.

 

3. Cash Grant for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure: If your business is in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector, you will receive a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property. Businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000. Businesses with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

 

4. Small Business Grant Funding: The Government is providing additional funding for Local Authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.

 

5. Statutory Sick Pay Rebate: The Government will bring forward legislation to allow small and medium-sized businesses to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for staff sickness absence due to coronavirus. This refund will cover up to 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been off work because of coronavirus.

 

6. HMRC 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.

 

7. Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility: The new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) means that the Bank of England will buy short-term debt from larger companies. This will support companies which are fundamentally strong, but have been affected by a short-term funding squeeze. It will also support corporate finance markets overall and ease the supply of credit to all firms. The scheme will be funded by central bank reserves – in line with other Bank of England market operations. It will operate for at least 12 months, and for as long as steps are needed to relieve cash flow pressures on firms that make a material contribution to the UK economy.

 

8. Business Rates Holiday for Nurseries: Nurseries in England do not have to pay business rates for the 2020-21 tax year.

 

9. VAT Deferral: We will support businesses by deferring Valued Added Tax (VAT) payments for 3 months.

 

10. Income Tax Deferral for Self-Employed: If you are self-employed, Income Tax payments due in July 2020 under the Self-Assessment system will be deferred to January 2021.

 

11. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Under the coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers with a PAYE scheme will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. This applies to employees who have been asked to stop working, but who are being kept on the pay roll, otherwise described as ‘furloughed workers’. HMRC will reimburse 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 per month. This is to safeguard workers from being made redundant. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to March 1st and is initially open for 3 months, but will be extended if necessary.

 

Please Call my Assistant Guy on 02072196451 if you require further clarity.

4.2 I Am An Employee in Fareham, What Am I Entitled To?

Guidance for Employees: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-employees

4.2.1 Will My Employer Be Obliged To Pay Me While I Stay At Home? 

  • Statutory Sick Pay will be paid from day 1 instead of day 4 for those affected by the virus.
  • From today (20th March) onwards, those who are advised to self-isolate will be able to obtain an “isolation note” by contacting NHS 111 online, rather than visiting a doctor.
  • This can be used by employees where their employers require evidence. Where individuals need to check their eligibility for sick pay, they should speak to their employer about their entitlements, and can visit www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay for further information.

4.2.2 What If I Have A 'Zero Hours' Contract?

You may be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay. Check with your employer in the first instance and if you're not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay, you may be able to apply for Universal Credit  or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) .

4.2.3 What If I’m Self-Employed?

  • The Government is deferring income tax self-assessment payments from July to January 2021 which will help the self-employed.
  • The Budget announced a temporary relaxation of the earnings rules (know as the Minimum Income Floor) for self-employed claimants who are sick or self-isolating according to Government guidance. This has already come into effect. On the 20th February the Government extended this to all self employed claimants not just those directly impacted by the virus, ensuring those affected by the economic impact of the outbreak are supported.
  • Additionally, you can apply for Universal Credit.  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: For the duration of the outbreak, the requirements of the Universal Credit Minimum Income Floor will be temporarily relaxed for those who have COVID-19 or are self-isolating according to government advice, ensuring self-employed claimants will receive support.
  • Your may also benefit from mortgage support: following discussions with industry, for those in difficulty due to coronavirus, mortgage lenders will offer mortgage holidays of 3 months.
  • And loans forbearance: forbearance from lenders, where individuals are having difficulty paying back personal loans or credit.

4.2.4 What If The Whole Family Has To Stay At Home So We Have No Income?

If no one is getting Statutory Sick Pay, the family can apply for Universal Credit  -  the Government have changed certain rules governing this benefit during the coronavirus period.

4.3 I'm Worried About Paying My Tax - Is There Any Help?

Yes - there are 2000 staff supporting a COVID-19 dedicated helpline for businesses and self-employed being run by HMRC Monday-Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 8am-4pm - 0800 0159 559 who will discuss possible remedies such as:

  • agreeing an instalment arrangement
  • suspending debt collection proceedings
  • cancelling penalties and interest

4.4 I’m Worried About Paying My Mortgage Is There Any Help?

  • Mortgage lenders will offer repayment holidays of 3 months to households in financial difficulty due to coronavirus while they get back on their feet.
  • Customers who are concerned about their current financial situation should get in touch with their lender at the earliest possible opportunity to discuss if this is a suitable option for them.

4.5 What Do I Do On A Reduced Income?

The Government have made a number of changes to benefits and sick pay and will likely take more steps over the coming days and weeks. The following two organisations provide detailed support and advice about coronavirus and your money.

  • This up-to-date guide from the Money Advice Service  is easy to follow and filled with good advice about sick pay and changes to claiming your benefits during this challenging time.
  • The advice and benefits and grants calculators at Turn2Us  are useful to get support if the coronavirus has had a negative impact on your finances

4.6 What Financial Help Is In Place For Individuals?

Coronavirus and claiming benefits:  https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/   

Info on support for renters: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/complete-ban-on-evictions-and-additional-protection-for-renters   

Info on help with energy costs: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-agrees-measures-with-energy-industry-to-support-vulnerable-people-through-covid-19   

Money Advice Service – for sick pay, money issues: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/coronavirus-what-it-means-for-you   

4.7 Useful Links:

Covid-19 information for Employers and Businesses:  

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19   

Further advice on Covid-19 for businesses use the Business Support Helpline: 0300 4563565   https://www.gov.uk/business-support-helpline   

HMRC dedicated Coronavirus Helpline: 0800 0159 559. 

National effort for ventilator production: 0300 4563565, Ventilator.support@beis.gov.uk   

Contact for other (than ventilator) Covid-19 business support offers: gcfcovid19enquiries@cabinetoffice.gov.uk   

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/supporting-business-loans-enterprise-finance-guarantee/   

Pubs can run as takeaways:  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-to-grant-permission-for-pubs-and-restaurants-to-operate-as-takeaways-as-part-of-coronavirus-response   

HBBC Economic Development Team (01455 238141) work with the LEP, who have a page on coronavirus:  https://bizgateway.org.uk/coronavirus-planning-ahead/?dm_i=36DV,10HM0,31DVBW,3UMWY,1    

Universal Credit: 0800 328 5644