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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The government has released guidance and support measures specifically for businesses and employers related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and this will be updated regularly.

We are here to help you get up to date.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The government has released guidance and support measures specifically for businesses and employers related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and this will be updated regularly.

Guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19)

The guidance will assist employers and businesses with advice on:

  • the novel coronavirus, COVID-19
  • how to help prevent spread of all respiratory infections including COVID-19
  • what to do if someone in the workplace becomes ill
  • advice on sick pay and certification of absence from work resulting from COVID-19

Full guidance on staying at home and away from others

Information for businesses or individuals affected by COVID-19.

List of businesses and premises that must remain closed as part of further social distancing measures

 

Support available for businesses to deal with impacts of COVID-19

A package of measures is available to support businesses including:

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • Self-employment Income Support Scheme
  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
  • small business grant funding for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • grant funding for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme 
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

Frequently Asked Questions on support available through Government.

If you would like to receive updates on the government’s response to COVID-19 you can sign up for email alerts.

 

What support is available?

Support for employers to keep paying staff

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

All UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off. 

Employers will need to designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify employees of this change. HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month and are working urgently to set up a system to facilitate payments. Full details....

The ICAEW has put together some advice on this scheme,  including examples of how 'furloughing' could work. 

How to apply: HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. They expect the first grants to be paid within weeks, and are aiming to get it done before the end of April. 

Support for the Self-employed

Self-employment income support scheme 

Self-employed people will be able to apply for a taxable grant worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last 3 years, up to £2,500 per month. 

The scheme will be open for three months to begin with and only to those with trading profits of up to £50,000, who make a majority of their income from self-employment. To minimise fraud only those already in self-employment, who have a tax return for 2019, can apply. Full details...

How to apply: HMRC are working urgently on systems and expect people to access the scheme no later than the beginning of June. If eligible, HMRC will contact you with an online form, they pay the grant straight to your bank account.

Frequently Asked Questions on self-employment income support scheme

Support for businesses paying tax

Deferred VAT payments for 3 months

The deferral will apply from 20  March until 30 June. Taxpayers will be given until the end of the 2020-21 tax year to pay any liabilities that have accumulated during the deferral period. Full details...

How to apply: This is an automatic offer with no applications required. Businesses will not need to make a VAT payment during this period.

Deferred Self Assessment payments 

Income Tax Self-Assessment payments due on the 31 July 2020 will be deferred until the 31 January 2021. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged in the deferral period. Full details...

How to apply: This is an automatic offer with no applications required. 

Time To Pay

HMRC have scaled up their Time to Pay offer to all firms and individuals who are in temporary financial distress as a result of Covid-19 and have outstanding tax liabilities. 

If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 08000 241222 for practical help and advice.

Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees (or self-employed)

For businesses with fewer than 250 employees, the cost of providing 14 days of Statutory Sick Pay per employee will be refunded by the government in full. The eligible period for the scheme will commence the day after the regulations on the extension of Statutory Sick Pay to those staying at home comes into force and the government will work with employers over the coming months to set up the repayment mechanism as soon as possible. Full details...

How to apply: A rebate scheme is being developed. Further details will be provided in due course once the legalisation has passed.

Anyone not eligible to receive sick pay, including self-employed people, are able to claim Universal Credit and or contributory Employment and Support Allowance.

Support for businesses that pay business rates

Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

 The government is introducing a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible. Full details...

You can estimate the business rate charge you will no longer have to pay this year using the business rates calculator.

How to apply:  You do not need to do anything. This will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible. 

Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure 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.

For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000, they will receive a grant of £25,000. Full details...

How to apply: You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant and guidance for local authorities on the scheme will be provided shortly.

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the grants should be directed to the relevant local authority. Visit the Cornwall Council site or call 0300 1234 171 

Support for nursery businesses that pay business rates

A business rates holiday for nurseries in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year will be introduced. 

How to apply: You do not need to do anything. This will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible. Full details...

You can estimate the business rate charge you will no longer have to pay this year using the business rates calculator.

Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates due to Small Business Rate Relief

The government will provide additional funding for local authorities to support small businesses that are in receipt of small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief and therefore pay little or no business rates. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to businesses currently eligible for SBRR or rural rate relief, to help meet their ongoing business costs. Full details...

How to apply: You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant and guidance for local authorities on the scheme will be provided shortly.

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs should be directed to the relevant local authority. Visit the Cornwall Council site or call 0300 1234 171 

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme 

NOW LIVE: A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, supports primarily small and medium-sized businesses to access 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). The Scheme supports loans of up to £5 million in value and businesses can access the first 12 months of that finance interest free. Full details...

How to apply: The full rules of the Scheme and the list of accredited lenders is available on the British Business Bank website, however businesses should approach their own provider – ideally via the lender’s website. They may also consider approaching other lenders if they are unable to access the finance they need.

Full details of the support available for businesses to deal with impacts of COVID-19

 

If you need help to understand what support is available to you please call us on 01209 708660 during office hours.

If you are unable to get through immediately please leave a message or email us on [email protected] and we will get back to you.

 

Additional Resources

Local resources -  Local resources, guides and information to help you through the impact on COVID-19

Insurance - Businesses that have cover for both pandemics and government-ordered closure should be covered.  However, insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers. Please note that most businesses are unlikely to be covered, as standard business interruption insurance policies are dependent on damage to property and will exclude pandemics. 

Association of British Insurers Frequently Asked Questions on insurance and COVID-19.

3  Month Mortgage Holiday - information on the ability to take a 3 month mortgage holiday from Which

Cornwall Council - round up of advice and guidance for residents and businesses from Cornwall Council.

FSB - Federation of Small Businesses advice and guidance on reducing the risks from the COVID-19 virus to you and your business. 

Cornwall Chamber - support available through Cornwall Chamber of Commerce

Visit Cornwall - information from Visit Cornwall aimed at local tourism businesses  

Visit Britain - advice to the travel and tourism sector from Visit Britain

NFU - advice and guidance from the National Farmer's Union.

Crowdfunder - offering 100% free fundraising for your business along with support from Enterprise Nation.

Facebook - offering $100M in small business grants and ad credits  

Key workers - guidance on key workers (those critical to the Covid-19 response) an educational provision for their children

ACAS - information for employees and employers from ACAS, including simple steps to help protect the health and safety of staff

Companies House - guidance on what to do if your company cannot file accounts with Companies House on time

Trade & Export - guidance from the Department for International Trade for businesses trading internationally 

Support for larger firms - Under the new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies.  This will support your company if it has been affected by a short-term funding squeeze, and allow you to finance your short-term liabilities. 

CIPDChartered Institute of Personal Development employer guide 

Private Lending - a number of private lenders are also making funds available to small businesses impacted by COVID-19, including £2 billion from Lloyds Banking Group and £5 billion from NatWest.

Hardship fund - £500 million has been made available through Local Authorities to support economically vulnerable people and households in the local areas. This money will predominantly be given as Council Tax Relief through existing Local Council Tax Support schemes.

Additional support - the government has put a range of support in place for those who do not receive Statutory Sick Pay, including Universal Credit and contributory Employment and Support Allowance.

 

We’ll work with you on a one-to-one basis to uncover the skills your business needs, and introduce you to training to get results. 

 

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