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Coronavirus - Help for Business Owners

This page is intended as a central resource for our clients and any other business owners who need help in these constantly changing days we find ourselves in.

Physical distancing

First and foremost is the safety of you and your family and everyone you come in contact with.  Please follow the physical distancing rules (we don't like the term social distancing).

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults

Help for Business Owners

The first place to find information on help from the government is on the following pages;

https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/coronavirus-advice

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

Bookmark these pages so you have a reliable source of information.

A summary of measures is set out below;

1. Statutory Sick Pay

Anyone who shows the symptoms of the virus are to stay at home for 14 days. During this time they will be eligible for extended Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

When – still under development.

How – via your payroll system.

What to do now – ensure you and your employees take 14 days off and stay at home if you show symptoms. Pay SSP. Keep records to reclaim when information is available. Read the information in the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses#support-for-businesses-who-are-paying-sick-pay-to-employees

2. Furloughed workers (Support to pay employees that you have asked to stop work)

If you have have asked your employees to stop work because of the coronavirus the UK Government will pay 80% of your wages bill;

When – available at the end of April (backed to March)

How – to be notified through and online portal yet to be set up.

What to do now – designate employee as ‘furloughed workers”, tell them this.  See further information here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses#support-for-businesses-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.  Please note that we can not offer HR advice. But this measure is to protect people’s jobs. It covers when you can no longer provide work for them to do but are keeping their jobs open for when you reopen.

4. Business interruption loans

The Government is supporting banks to offer business short term loans to help with cash flow. The first 12 months is interest free as the government will pay interest.

When – now.

How – via your business bank.

What to do now – Contact your bank as soon as possible to advise you will be seeking a loan. Work out how much you need to borrow.  We will be issuing a template for a cash forecast as soon as we can. If you are a management accounts client, we will work with you to prepare this.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses#support-for-businesses-through-the-coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme

5. Tax payments delayed – VAT and Self Assessment

VAT

VAT payments will be automatically deferred.

When – from 20 March to 30 June

How – HMRC will do this automatically

What to do now – file your return on time. Cancel your direct debit (reinstate it later) Nothing else required.

Self Assessment Payments on account due 31 Jul

Payments due 31 Jul 2020 will now be due 31 Jan 2021

When – before 31 Jul 2020

How – HMRC will do this automatically

What to do now – nothing.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses#support-for-businesses-through-deferring-vat-and-income-tax-payments

6. Other taxes – time to pay

If you have other tax liabilities due then you can ask for this to be delayed, otherwise know as time to pay. 

When – when you know how much tax is due.

How – Phone 0800 0159 559

What to do now – get your return filed so HMRC can see what tax is due. 

                    -Have all your reference numbers to hand. 

                    -DO NOT phone about future taxes until they are due. 

7. Scottish Government Grants and Business Rates Relief.

There some measure that have been announced by the Scottish Government including grants and business rates relief. Some business will be eligible for a  up to £10k or up to £25k grant depending on the rateable value of your business building (this applies to bricks and mortar businesses so not applicable to home based)

Further details can be found in the link below;

https://www.gov.scot/news/gbp-2-2-billion-for-business/

When – now

How – apply via your local council.

What to do now – send in your application via your local council.

8. Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

Good news and bad news on the self employed front. Help has been announced in the way of cash grants for self employed BUT there are criteria that must be met to qualify.

What is on offer: 80% of average of profits, max £2,500

Criteria: 

  • less than £50,000 profit in 2018/19 (or average over preceding 3 years).
  • Half of total income must come from self employment
  • Must be self employed already and continue to trade this year.
  • Have had loss in profit due to coronavirus.
  • Applies to sole traders and partnerships.

Further details can be found on the link below. https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/self-employment-income-support-scheme/

When -  June in form of a cash lump sum.

How -  HMRC will send out letter to you if you are eligible. DO NOT contact HMRC.

What to do now - File your 2018/19 tax return if you haven’t already (this should have been submitted by 31 Jan 2020)

-    Look at your last 3 years tax returns to work out what you think you will get and put this in your cash forecast.


PERSONAL FINANCES

1. Three Month Mortgage holiday

You can ask your mortgage provider to freeze your mortgage payments for 3 months.

When – now

How – contact your mortgage provider

What to do now – if your think your cash flow will be affected by the coronavirus arrange for a mortgage payment holiday asap.

2. Other outgoings.

While no other formal measures have been announced some banks have offered to help by letting you take out early withdrawals without penalty and won’t charge for missing payments on credit cards.

When – now

How – contact your bank or check their website to see how they are helping.

What to do now – assess your personal finances and work out what regular payments you currently make to service debt. Contact the bank and credit card company to if you can delay payments.  Look at your outgoings and cut back on unnecessary spending. 

Rent

If you are struggling to pay rent contact your landlord. They can not evict you at present if you can’t pay your rent due to reduced income from the Coronavirus.

When – now

How – contact your landlord.

What to do now – assess your personal finances and work out if you are still able to pay your rent. If you can’t contact your landlord to see if you can delay your rent or reduce payments. They can not evict you at present due to new rules during the coronavirus pandemic.

Landlords

If your tenants can’t pay their rent and you have mortgate commitments you can contact your mortgage provider to ask for help.

When – now

How – contact your mortgage provider.

What to do now – look at your cashflows and work out how much rent you are not going to be paid. Remember that a lot of people are still being paid so don’t assume that all rent will be lost. You can not evict tenants for non payment at present due to new rules during the coronavirus pandemic.

Self employed.

While the government has announced measures to help business who employ people and pay business rates, if you are a homebased and self employed you may feel that you have been overlooked. Currently if you are experiencing loss of earnings you may be eligible for universal credit or other benefits to help. Criteria has been changed to help you during this time.  Hopefully more measures will be announced to help self employed as this is very much a one day at a time situation.

When – now

How – via DWP.

What to do now – contact DWP to see if you they can help you. Read through the link below for further information.

https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit

Look at ways to not only survive but thrive in this current climate. Let me know if you want me to connect you with groups who can help.

Wellbeing

Watch this space for links and resources we recommned to help with your wellbeing.

Homeschooling /remote learning.

Watch this space for links and resources we recommned to help with your wellbeing.

All of the above is my personal summary of the information availalble. The aim is to give plain and simple information with links to the detail you need. Please read through the links for the latest information. We are trying out best to keep up with the information as it is released. There are challenges in the time delay between announcements made and getting the details (and breathe....)

If you need help please contact us.  We are doing our best to help clients obtain loans and will be using our funding contacts too. 

Keep well, stay calm and lets get through this together.

Namaste.








 

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