What Government support is there for my business?
With the Government putting in place a number of schemes for small and medium sized businesses, it can be hard to know which ones are relevant to you and your business.
We have compiled a list of the assistance schemes available to you including loans, grants and tax deferral periods. We’ve attempted to simplify and condense the information that’s out there, so you can see at a glance what may be relevant for your business. If you need more information, there’s handy links to access official government content.
Support finder tool
On Monday 20 April Business Secretary Alok Sharma and Chancellor Rishi Sunak launched a new ‘support finder’ tool for businesses and the self-employed. Driven by a short questionnaire, this tool is designed to help business owners quickly identify what financial support is available to them. You can find out more here.
Job Retention Scheme
If your business is closed, and staff are no longer needed to work, you can furlough these employees. This means they’re still employed by you and on your payroll, but you won’t be paying them, nor will they be performing any work tasks for you. The scheme has recently been extended to cover staff wages up to October 2020.
HM Revenue and Customs will pay people up to 80% of their usual salary up to £2,500 a month. As the employer, you must get in touch via an online portal and apply for the money. In the meantime, you should pay your staff as normal and claim the money back. The portal is now open.
Compulsory commission can be paid to furloughed sales staff, and it’s suggested that this is worked out in a similar way to working out annual leave payments.
This includes any commission for selling vehicles and aftersales products, and the test to be applied is ‘commission paid to staff in normal trading conditions’, and contracted – but this contract can be verbal.
Limited company directors, even if they're the only employee, can furlough their PAYE income.
If a director does this, they can’t then work for the firm, but can continue to perform statutory director's obligations, eg, official legal filings
You can find out more here.
Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs
Businesses with less than 250 employees can reclaim Statutory Sick Pay for any employees who have had to take time off due to COVID-19 to cover up to two weeks of statutory sick pay.
The rebate scheme is still in development. More detail on how to access this to follow when the government issues more guidance.
VAT Payment Deferral
The VAT payment deferral period will apply from 20 March 2020 until 30 June 2020. All UK businesses are eligible, and it automatically applies. There is no need to speak to HMRC to arrange or agree this.
Businesses with a VAT payment due in this period will not need to make that payment to HMRC. Amounts due during this deferral period must be paid by 31 March 2021 and can be paid at any time before that deadline.
This affects the following VAT return periods:
• 02/20 period ending 29 February
• 03/20 period ending 31 March.
• 04/20 period ending 30 April.
Find out more here.
Small Business Rates Relief
You can get small business rate relief if your property’s rateable value is less than £15,000 and your business only uses one property.
You will not pay business rates on a property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less. For properties with a rateable value of £12,001 to £15,000, there is a sliding scale from 100% to 0% relief.
Find out more here.
Small Business Grant Scheme
The government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR), 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.
For businesses with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000, this grant increases to £25,000.
You do not need to do anything to access this scheme. If you are eligible, your local authority will write to you.
The HMRC Time To Pay Scheme
This gives businesses the option to defer Tax payments. If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, please call HMRC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559.
Business Interruption Loan Scheme
This is a government backed initiative that gives lenders the ability to offer funding to distressed businesses. The government will also make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.
There are currently over 40 accredited lenders able to offer this scheme.
Find out more here.
New bounce back loans have launched
From Monday 4 May, Britain’s small businesses were able to apply for quick and easy-to access loans of up to £50,000 – with the cash expected to land within days.
Businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and the loans will be 100% government backed for lenders. Businesses can apply online through a short and simple form, with me information here.
Top-up to local business grant funds scheme
A discretionary fund has been set up to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside the scope of the business grant funds scheme. This additional fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. Businesses must be small, under 50 employees, and they must also be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop in income due to Coronavirus restriction measures.
More information can be found here
As we find out more about these schemes and how to apply, we will update this page.
How can Close Brothers Motor Finance help?
Your Account Manager can offer support with which of these are most likely to be useful for you and your individual circumstances. You can still contact them by phone or email. Before making any business decisions you should speak to your Accountant or Financial Advisor.
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