COVID 19 Relief: What help is your business entitled to?
These are trying times for everyone, but in particular small businesses are facing a huge amount of uncertainty as a result of the measures in place to combat the spread of COVID-19. Here at UTP we are committed to helping our customers grow with us, so we have created a handy time-saving guide to the current government measures designed at providing relief to businesses during this unprecedented incident.
Government help for businesses:
VAT Deferral Scheme:
If you are UK VAT registered business and have a VAT payment due between March 20th and June 30th, 2020, you now have the option to defer paying this until on or before March 31st, 2021.
No interest or penalties will be imposed for this deferral. This scheme does not cover VAT MOSS and you are still required to submit your VAT receipts on time.
Income Tax Deferral Scheme:
For Income Tax-Self Assessment, payments due on the 31st of July 2020 may be deferred until 31st of January 2021.
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Rebate for COVID-19 related absence:
For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, 2 weeks’ SSP per eligible employee who has been absent due to COVID-19 will be refunded. The details of how this will be repaid are still being negotiated but this should be enacted soon.
Business Rates Holiday for Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Businesses:
For the 2020/21 tax year, a business rates holiday is in the works. Local authorities will automatically recalculate your bill. You can estimate your savings using the government’s business rate calculator.
Cash Grants for Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Businesses:
The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.
Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 may be eligible for a grant of £10,000.
Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of between £15,000 and less than £51,000 may be eligible for a grant of £25,000. Your local authority will contact you if you are eligible for this scheme.
Small Business Grant Funding:
For businesses that are receiving small business rate relief or rural rate relief as of 11th of March 2020 local authorities can provide a one time grant of £10,000. You will be contacted by your local authority if you are eligible for this grant.
Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS):
The CBILS is operated by 40 accredited lenders including all major banks and allows SMEs to access loans up to the value of 5 million for up to 6 years. The government will back 80% of the loan and cover the first 12 months of interest payments and levied fees. To apply, contact one of the accredited lenders.
UPDATE: Previously businesses were required to apply for a commercial loan before being eligible for CBILS, this has now been revised.
Support for Businesses Paying Tax: Time to Pay Service:
All businesses and self-employed people in financial distress with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible for support through HRMC’s Time to Pay Service. If you have missed a tax payment or you might miss your next payment due to COVID-19, contact HRMC’s dedicated helpline: 0800 0159 559.
Corona Job Retention Scheme:
All employers with a PAYE scheme will receive government funding to pay an 80% on-going portion of workers who otherwise would have been laid off during this crisis. Furloughed workers will be paid up to £2500 a month. The scheme will cover wages backdated to March 1st 2020 and will run for 3 months initially.
UPDATE: Employees who were transferred to another organisation under TUPE after 28 February 2020 can receive 80% of their wages while furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
For further updates on schemes to help your business, refer to the gov.uk web page here.
Other ways to help your business:
As well as these extensive measures provided by the government, it is important businesses adapt to continue to operate in this environment. Going cashless will stop the spread of the disease and is now easier than ever as the contactless payment limit will be raised from £30 to £45 as of 1st of April 2020.
It is also more important than ever to diversify the way your business takes payments in this period of rapidly changing consumer behaviour. Online and over the phone purchases are soaring, and we at UTP can provide virtual terminal and e-commerce solutions to facilitate these transactions. Mobile payments are being employed by drivers for businesses who are now delivering their goods direct to customers.
The bottom line…
We are committed to helping our customers succeed in these difficult times. By using the relevant government help, where needed, and by adapting business models we believe commerce can not only survive but thrive. UTP is here to support you every step of the way, and our payment infrastructure and help desk will remain open. If you want to safeguard your business by diversifying your payment streams, contact us today on 0330 99 99 900